Major cities around the world are playing host to the crypto revolution and the Polish capital Warsaw is beginning to leave its digital mark.
The crypto revolution is in full swing. There’s a surge of interest in trading digital assets and even futures based on those assets. And there are a growing number of services designed to meet those needs. And cities around the world are racing to nurture their own version of Switzerland’s Crypto Valley.
While most of the media focus remains on North America and Western Europe, there are a number of overlooked crypto hotspots forming around the world. One of the most promising is forming in the Polish capital of Warsaw.
Leveraging a History of Tech Innovation
Since shrugging off the shackles of communism, Poland has positioned itself to become one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe. The country has already cemented its position as a center of technological evolution with some well-known start-ups becoming household names.
For example, there is the video game developer CD-Projekt, responsible for the hit game Witcher 3 as well as the digital distribution platform Good Old Games. And there is the education social network Brainly. But there are many others.
Poland’s well-educated workforce and business-positive environment make for fertile ground for new companies to grow and prosper.
Most interestingly for cryptocurrency start-ups, Poland has a strong record in the fintech sector and the population is typically open to novel technical solutions to problems.
An Already Thriving Crypto Sector
Cryptocurrency achieved an impressive 8.01% market penetration in Poland in 2019. This is despite unclear regulations and complicated tax issues in the nation.
Polish entrepreneurs have clearly seen an opportunity and there are now 43 registered blockchain start-ups in the country, many of them setting up shop in Warsaw.
Golem: Building Decentralized Cloud Computing
Golem is using an Ethereum-based transaction system to build a marketplace for users and applications to rent out cycles from other users’ machines. This enables people to share, and profit from, their machine’s downtime and creates a fairer marketplace for cloud computing power.
To date, the company has raised around $5 million and has put this money to good use. The company recently released the alpha reveal of New Golem.
This version will finally enable developers to upload apps and is a functioning proof-of-concept that will form the foundation of the ultimate Golem project.
MineBest: Reaching for the Stars
Established in 2017, MineBest is an infrastructure company specializing in cryptographic computing activities, most specifically mining.
The company is building a state of the art series of mining farms and works with clients around the globe. They already have functioning centers in Kazakhstan and China and won a number of awards in 2019.
Most interestingly, the company recently announced plans to launch a crypto farm into space. The ambitious project plans to use a satellite equipped with solar panels capable of producing 1 TH of power to mine Bitcoin Vault with minimal environmental impact.
The company hasn’t yet given a timeline on launch but it would certainly be a “giant leap” for cryptocurrency if they manage to pull it off.
Warsaw’s Crypto Sector Still Needs Nurturing
Despite some success stories and ambitious projects it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. For example, Warsaw-based crypto exchange Bitmarket ceased operations, citing low liquidity. And a co-owner of the exchange was found dead at his home in 2019. There have also been a number of other promising crypto projects from the city that have failed.
As Switzerland’s Crypto Valley has demonstrated the best way to build a thriving cryptocurrency sector is government support. This would require crypto-positive legislation and action by local authorities to clarify the state of cryptocurrency in Poland.
It is unlikely that such steps will be undertaken in the next four years, which means that the Polish crypto sector will be left to fend for itself, at least for the time being. But it’s been doing well so far.