A collective of Chicago-based entrepreneurs and investors have opened an incubator for bitcoin- and blockchain-focused startups.
Based at 1871, the city's hub for digital startups, the Chicago Bitcoin Center promises to "foster a new wave of technological innovation on the blockchain". A similar operation launched in New York last year.
Firms joining the centre will get office space, access to mentorship from bitcoin entrepreneurs, technologists and investors, and a full suite of public relations and government affairs services.
"Chicago has a rich history and DNA in financial technology, and the blockchain has the potential to provide a new, open-source rail for FinTech innovation,” says Matthew Roszak, CEO of the new centre and a founding partner of Tally Capital.
The first set of incubator startups includes Bloq, a blockchain technology company; Glidera, a digital currency merchant services provider; Red Leaf, a bitcoin ATM operator; and OasisCoin, a bitcoin remittance provider.
Meanwhile, 1871, which houses some 325 early-stage digital companies, is promising to promote the use of bitcoin, in part by letting members pay their rent in the cryptocurrency.