Which Are the Best Locations for Blockchain Companies? — We Asked Our Well-travelled Crypto Friends

Ravi Kurani
Feb 22 · 10 min read

Last October marks the 10th birthday of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper. If we “translate” this onto the timeline of the internet, we’re roughly in the late 90s or early 2000s. By then, Silicon Valley had emerged clearly as the globally leading hub for internet and software companies. This isn’t that surprising, considering that it had already been the world’s capital for computer chip manufacturing that gave it its name. In Crypto, we’re far from seeing a single city or region dominating the industry right now and there are at least 5–7 spots that are frequently called “crypto hubs”. The (crypto) winter gave us some time to take a closer look and try to answer some questions that might be helpful for crypto entrepreneurs and investors:

  • Which are the best locations to found and run a crypto company?
  • How do the most important “crypto hubs” compare against each other?
  • Which regions should investors and enthusiasts have on their radar?
  • How will this change in the future, and will there be a “Silicon Valley of Crypto”?

Since there are roughly a gazillion articles with opinions on crypto hubs out there, we decided to go out on a limb and collect some data. We designed a short survey comparing the leading hubs along five dimensions.

  • Regulatory friendliness (1=less friendly to 5=very friendly)
  • Talent access (1=less attractive to 5=very attractive)
  • Activity of the crypto community (1=less active to 5=very active)
  • Number of startup role models (1=less attractive to 5= very attractive)
  • The hubs’ future importance (1=less important to 5= more important).

Each dimension was ranked equally, and the overall ranking was determined through the average of all categories. To make the results as insightful as possible, we sent the survey only to “well travelled” individuals who have been to at least to four of the seven places, which of course limited our sample size (to around 20), so please keep in mind that the survey is by no means representative. The seven regions we decided to include in our survey are Berlin, China (as a whole), London, New York, Silicon Valley, Singapore and Zug.

The below charts show the overall results of our survey. What follows is a description of each hub along the survey results, plus additional insights we gathered from our own research.

TL;DR:

  • Singapore is rated best overall, followed by Silicon Valley and Zug; China rated lowest overall
  • Singapore is especially strong in activity of community and regulatory friendliness
  • London is rated highest on future importance (perhaps due to being “well-rounded, as it scores well in every category); Zug is rated lowest (it seems due to lack of access to talent)
  • We asked which hub is most important that we didn’t name and >50% of participants named Malta. This is likely due to its forward-thinking regulation that was recently put in place

Singapore — Favorable Rules & International Vibe

Silicon Valley — Doing What it Does Best

Zug — Regulatory First Mover

Berlin — The Crypto Spirit Animal (?)

New York — Financial Capital with Tough Regulation

London — Promising Setup for the Future

China (as a whole) — Government Endorsed Development

Further hubs not part of our initial survey

Conclusion and Outlook — Spring is coming (hopefully)

Many thanks go to our recent intern Verena Scheffczyk for her valuable support in conducting the survey and proofreading the article!

Earlybird's view

Thoughts and news from the Earlybird VC team. Read more at: https://medium.com/@earlybirdvc or www.earlybird.com

Ravi Kurani

Written by

Investor @EarlybirdVC, Engineer from @DukeU, aspiring Solidity Developer, #Cryptocurrency trader, Snowboarder, Surfer

Earlybird's view

Thoughts and news from the Earlybird VC team. Read more at: https://medium.com/@earlybirdvc or www.earlybird.com

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