The Best Places On Earth
There is a once in a generation shift going on when it comes to the cities that lead the way in finance and technology. The old guard of New York, London and Hong Kong are on the way out, as a combination of bad policy and toxic politics have under minded these traditional global centers when it comes to the next wave of digital financial assets and blockchain technology.
My goal is to live where I’m treated best and where the industry I’m working in is fastest growing & offers me the strongest network effects. What I’ve discovered is that’s a combination of Switzerland, Texas and Singapore. The last 6 years Texas has lead the way in North America, with Switzerland best positioned in Europe & Singapore becoming the center of activity in Asia. All three embraced blockchain mining, foundations & companies early on. As those network effects have grown, massive benefits have started flowing to these jurisdictions as top global talent and capital have begun pouring in.
Switzerland & Singapore
I’ve already written about the rise of Crypto Valley in Switzerland and how half the world’s blockchain foundations / companies have found a home there the past 6 years. As for Singapore its benefiting from the fall of Hong Kong. Singapore’s more stable longterm politics, make it the better bet for freedom based projects with a number of the Asian blockchain foundations & teams calling it home. Switzerland looks on track to win out for friendliest legal framework, and Singapore for where Asian capital will flow into the industry.
Given I want to be at the heart of decision making in the crypto industry, being close to the foundations and protocols in Crypto Valley is a must. Similarly I want to have access to the capital flows coming out of Asia in order to direct funding to the best projects in the industry. But what about mining, coding, and other aspect that make blockchains possible. Enter Texas.
While Switzerland and Singapore might be the obvious winners to emerge on the global stage, I’m going to make the case for why Texas and specifically the 17.7 Million person Texas Triangle metro area is likely to take the third spot globally. Partly this is thanks to geography as the global time zones tend to break the world into three 8 hour work zones simply due to when people are awake and active around the globe. With other North American cities failing to capture the network effect around blockchain / crypto the Texas Triangle Metro area is stepping into that role.
1. Friendliest Laws / Regulations
Texas has by far the friendliest pro business policies, especially when compared to its rivals in New York and California. While New York was passing the “Bitlicense” in 2014 and effective crushing all blockchain innovation in the jurisdiction for the last 6 years. Instead the Texas Banking Commission took and continues to take a very light approach stating that virtual currency doesn’t constitute money transmission and as a result many of the early Bitcoin & Blockchain companies were based out of Austin, Dallas & Houston.
2. Lowest Cost Power For Mining
Texas has the lowest cost power available in North America and Houston is the largest energy hub in the United States. As a result crypto mining operations have moved into Texas at an increasing rate with some of the largest mining operations in the world now being developed in Texas. As proof of work (mining) continues to be the leading means of securing the top blockchains in the world, a shift from Asian to Texas based mining is likely to shake up the entire industry.
3. Deep Tech, Energy & Finance Expertise
The combined specialities of Austin around software / hardware, Houston in energy production and Dallas in finance, & their close proximity to one another deserve to be treated as a combined metro area. As the talent and interconnection between these cities is similar to that of New York’s Tri State area or the San Fransisco Bay Area and ranked as such.
4. Major Corporate Shift To Texas
There is a shift by Fortune 500 companies away from New York and California to Texas with Tesla as the latest example of a major technology manufacturing company moving their facilities out of California. A move that will likely tip the balance with Texas moving into the top spot with the most fortune 500 companies of any US State in a coming years.
5. Latest Blockchain, Platforms & Capital Are Texas Based
The next generation of blockchain protocols such as Hedera Hashgraph are based in Dallas and are winning over major tech companies like Google to join their network as validators. In addition many of the new security token project such as Vertalo and new venture capital firm such as Multicoin Capital are all based in Austin.
6. Affordability To Live & Work
Another big advantage the Texas Triangle has over its global peers is that of affordability. So if you are going to be hiring lots of programmers, or building big facilities you aren’t going to do so in Switzerland or Singapore due to cost constraints. You aren’t going to build them in NYC or California due to bad policies and political risk. Leaving the Texas Triangle as the obvious winner as it has the unique combination of low political risk + talent base + affordable living options.
I believe in spending my time where my efforts are most rewarded. Given the global nature of business and especially the blockchain industry that means spending time in multiple cities each year but there isn’t time to be every where and having a family means setting down roots. Of all the places I’ve spent time Switzerland, Texas and Singapore are the best governed, most business friendly, beautiful and safe places for me to live with my family and work on the projects I believe are most important. I encourage you to look into these places as you journey through this life. Go where you are welcomed and appreciated my friends.