Can this city council member bring Miami crypto culture to Quincy?

Can this city council member bring Miami crypto culture to Quincy?


Hello, Miami, NYC, and Austin:

Add Quincy, Massachusetts, to the list of cities across the country vying to become the leading center for blockchain and cryptocurrency.

I know what you’re thinking. Why Quincy? Aren’t most of the region’s leading crypto companies — Circle, Algorand, Flipside Crypto, Fidelity, State Street — based in Boston, a few miles north of the red line?

Why yes they are. But Quincy City Council member Ian Cain, who co-founded a startup incubator two years ago called QUBIC Labs, believes he can build a blockchain ecosystem that brings jobs and a culture of innovation to his hometown.

What is interesting about Cain’s efforts is that, politically speaking, he has little competition from the rest of the state. As QUBIC Labs wrote in a white paper last year, the Boston-area blockchain sector “has been largely created without state support or a meaningful regulatory framework.”

“No one was actually complicating a space to support the ecosystem, to grow it,” Cain said.

Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, has been vehemently against cryptocurrency. And in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu kept silent about any related plans. (The last time Wu’s press team responded to one of my inquiries about whether the city is pursuing any cryptocurrency initiatives, they said “not at this time.”)

On the other hand, Cain wants the blockchain community to feel welcome in Quincy, similar to the way Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has drawn crypto companies and venture capitalists to his city during the pandemic.

“There was a circumstantial opportunity that the mayor of Miami took full advantage of, trying to mobilize energy,” Kane said. “We’re also taking the opportunity, because I don’t see Boston moving on this.”

Co-founders John O’Keefe (left) and Ian Kane (right) at QUBIC Laboratories in Quincy.Aram Boghsian for The Boston Globe

Cain is not your typical crypto bro. He does not accept his salary in bitcoin or use NFT as his social media profile picture (yet). He focused on ways in which blockchain, or distributed ledgers, could be used to transform or improve industries from finance to government.

“Blockchain technology is not just about cryptocurrencies,” he said, describing it as a “fundamental and disruptive technology.”

Cain showed that he had some of the statesmanship needed to advance the industry. Help QUBIC Labs secure a $2 million government grantpart of a $5 million partnership aimed at To create 10 to 15 blockchain startups and up to 60 jobs over the next two years.

We’ll find out next week if It can bring the power of encryption to Quincy. When it became clear this year that Boston-based Pillar VC would not host the annual “Boston Blockchain Week,” Kane decided that QUBIC Labs could catch the torch.

The event will still be called Boston Blockchain Week, despite its new location, but Kane said that QUBIC Labs started from scratch, so it should be a lot different than it was in previous years.

QUBIC Labs aims to feel South and Southwest by dominating the public spaces in downtown Quincy. Castle Island Venture partners Matt Walsh and Nic Carter will host a live recording of the popular crypto podcast, On the edge. There will be music and art installations.

Cain hopes the atmosphere is in Miami – or New York City, because he is well aware that there is a “culture war” for blockchain talent.

As someone who attended the biggest cryptocurrency festival in New York City this summer, I would be pleasantly surprised if the cocktail hours on the rooftop in Quincy resembled it.

The ambiance at The Dream Hotel Lobby and Roof Bar during NFT NYC on June 21, 2022. The rooftop event is organized by Escape Plan, a duo of NFTs from Bored Ape Yacht Club.Rahav Segev

Anissa Gardizy can be reached at anissa.gardizy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amissagardizy8 And on Instagram Tweet embed.journalism. Journalism.





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