Saturday, 16 December 2017

Crypto Castle in San Francisco

There's a house full of cryptocurrency gurus in San Francisco...
Co-founders of Augur, the original roommates of the Crypto Castle
There's a house full of cryptocurrency gurus in San Francisco, and it's like a modern-day commune  

San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood is home to hilly streets, views of the Bay Bridge—and the Crypto Castle, a three-story home where a half dozen cryptocurrency entrepreneurs live and collaborate.

Jeremy Gardner is a co-founder of the Crypto Castle, initially both a home and the headquarters of start-up Augur, a decentralized prediction market platform.

"We didn't have the money for all the salaries to pay everyone to go live on their own so it was much cheaper to keep everyone in one place, eradicate housing costs and still be in San Francisco," said Gardner.

 

From there the house grew, with a rotating cast of crypto-currency entrepreneurs as tenants, and became a crash pad for visitors.

Self-driving car start-up Comma.ai was created in the basement, with CEO George Hotz living in a closet right off the main room. Eventually, the company raised several million dollars in funding, and he moved out.

Gardner said one of his "favorite nights" happened when Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin was crashing there and got into discussions with BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen.

"Those collaborations are a plenty here which is really probably the best part."

Beyond the collaborations, there is a sense of community not unlike the hippie communes that San Francisco was once known for.

A group of people attend a party in the early days of the Crypto Castle
A group of people attend a party in the early days of the Crypto Castle

"When we first got this place, I was the only girl who was here and I actually got involved with this place because I have amazing friends," said Toni Lane Casserly, a faculty member at Singularity University, a collaborative technology learning platform.

Lane-Casserly has seen a shift in her years in the space. When she first got there, people were telling her that Bitcoin was used for bad ends. Now people are asking her how they could get involved in the ecosystem.

Another roommate, Viviane Ford, had a similar experience.

"It's funny to see this slowly just gain more and more ground. We used to have a Bitcoin predictor on the window up there and we would guess by the end of the year it's going to hit a thousand or something." said Ford, vice president of Operations at Comma.ai.

"There was one moment where we had a big white board upstairs, a bunch of us were talking about different things and I think Bitcoin hit $2,000," she said, adding that "at that moment we popped a bottle of champagne and celebrated."

Whether Bitcoin or other crypto currencies are flying high or sliding backward, for the visitors and tenants of the Crypto Castle, it's about the game and not the score.

source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/06/bitcoin-ethereum-startups-crypto-castle-san-francisco-commune.html

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