San Francisco is a city that attracts people around the world for many reasons – the 49ers, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Lombard Street, the Fisherman’s Wharf, and the cable cars, among other popular tourist attractions. But the city also attracts many entrepreneurs, as San Francisco is one of the top innovation hubs in the world, with the famous Silicon Valley located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
With so many powerful international companies having their headquarters in San Francisco, such as Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Twitter, Uber, and many more, San Francisco seems to have become an epicenter for startups looking for a stimulating environment in which to thrive, thanks to what many have called the “knowledge spillover effect”. The Bitcoin and blockchain world is no exception to this phenomenon.
There are many other prominent Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies companies in San Francisco that have helped the world take advantage of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology that appeared in 2008.
Today, cryptocurrencies have become one of the most traded assets in the world, with Bitcoin trading attracting both retail and institutional investors looking to take advantage of this new, decentralized and disruptive way to exchange money in order to make a profit and to diversify their portfolios with alternative assets.
Many companies rely on cryptocurrencies to develop products and services that might attract these new investors to invest in this new asset class, like the exchanges and trading platforms Coinbase, Kraken and Uphold; the cryptocurrency index and funds provider Bitwise Asset Management; the platform dedicated to ICOs Coinlist; the security and utility token issuance platform Ambisafe; and the multi-venue operating platform for institutional investors Omniex.
Investing isn’t the only way to participate in this monetary revolution. You can also mine cryptocurrencies – some companies in San Francisco have decided to focus their offer on helping people mine cryptocurrencies, like the blockchain technology solutions firm Bitfury. Mining is the process of coin creation used by cryptocurrencies relying on the proof-of-work (PoW) protocol to validate their transactions.
Some companies support open-source and commercial Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies technologies like Blockstream, while other companies have developed services that allow crypto-users to spend (or accept) cryptocurrencies more easily, such as the payment APIs developer Wyre; the gift card and prepaid mobile refills provider Bitrefill; and the platform allowing you to spend your Bitcoins on Amazon Purse.
Some cryptocurrencies themselves have been developed by companies based in San Francisco.
If you look at the top 5 most important cryptocurrencies in the world by market capitalization, you will find ‘XRP’ developed by Ripple Labs, which is based in San Francisco. The cryptocurrency has been developed to offer a faster and cheaper payment protocol and network for banks and other financial institutions.
REP is another cryptocurrency developed by a company in San Francisco, based on the Augur blockchain. It helps investors draw on the “wisdom of the crowd” to predict a potential outcome of a future event.