We Can’t #BUIDL Alone: Announcing Catalyst, an Open Blockchain Hub Alliance

In the past year, blockchain technology has been pushed into mainstream consciousness and is evolving beyond ICOs; VC investment in blockchain has eclipsed $1.25B in the first half of 2018 alone. However, while the industry has grown rapidly, the blockchain ecosystem has not evolved at the same pace. The blockchain industry is based on decentralization, yet our communities are lacking the infrastructure that allows for the face to face interaction that allows innovation to thrive.

To address this, we have launched Catalyst, an open blockchain hub alliance, a global network of blockchain coworking spaces that are experimenting with new models of ownership. Our vision is to work together and connect different cultures, regions and innovators to propel the growth of groundbreaking technology in the blockchain industry, as well as promote community-led initiatives for a more open and decentralized future.

The alliance is currently comprised of blockchain communities Starfish Network in San Francisco, Nonce in Seoul and HashHub in Tokyo with several new blockchain hubs in other cities in the planning stages.

Starfish Network, a pioneering blockchain hub in San Francisco has defined a “hub” for blockchain communities as an openly accessible network and physical space that enables collaboration, learning, and innovation. A hub is a protocol-agnostic, meta-community and also serves to provide the industry with resources to support its growth.

This collaboration will enable resident companies or projects in the respective space to have better access and presence in global markets and speed up the process toward a more decentralized future powered by blockchain. We are very excited to provide service not only to the local communities but also to the extended communities internationally by working more closely with hubs across the globe which share the same vision.

For Catalyst’s first community project, we are collaborating on building a Lightning app (LApp) Directory. The Lightning Network is a second layer protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain aiming to increase scalability of the bitcoin network and increase adoption of Bitcoin as a currency by enabling fast and low cost transactions. It is a crucial technology in moving bitcoin from HODL to BUIDL — from an investment to a true digital currency. For the uninitiated here is a great video breaking down the Lightning Network: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrr_zPmEiME

However, there is currently no easy way for the average tech-enthusiast to experience and understand the potential of the Lightning Network, but we see it as an essential technology in bringing Bitcoin mainstream (beyond an investment). With our joint effort on the directory site, we will make it easier for people to learn about Lightning and dive into the ecosystem. The details of this will be released in the coming week.