We have known for a few years now that there’s room for successful new blockchain companies in the state of New York. Back in 2018, New York City Wired highlighted some of the most successful blockchain companies to watch for in the New York City “area” (somewhat broadly defined). The piece included two new companies — ShelterZoom and Coverus — that were operating within New York City. At the time, the very notion of a blockchain company was new to most people, and the presence of a few notable startups was exciting.
Fast-forward a few more years, and there are now dozens of blockchain startups in the New York area — if not hundreds. It’s become clear that this is a promising space, and entrepreneurs are busily seeking to get in on the action.
This is undoubtedly an exciting opportunity. However, those who might be considering getting into the blockchain business in the competitive New York market should know a few things before getting started.
Starting a Company
First off is that starting an official company in New York requires that you take a few specific steps. A sort of outline by ZenBusiness lays out those steps clearly, and you’ll see that there’s nothing overly complicated about them. You need to officially name your company, determine who its registered agent is, file for a Certificate of Organization with the state, and work through a few more points concerning operating agreements and your company’s tax requirements. All in all, it can be done fairly efficiently, and with minimal hassle. But it does all have to be done before you can start an official LLC in the state.
Dealing with Cryptocurrency
If you’re looking specifically to start a company that deals with cryptocurrency, you should know in advance that this can be somewhat complicated in New York. If you’re looking to launch a crypto wallet or exchange, for example, you face long odds. We wrote about Xapo back in 2018 when it became only the sixth provider to earn the state’s notoriously exclusive BitLicense — and in the years since only a handful more wallets have joined that list. Meanwhile, the state also has a history of somewhat stingy regulatory measures concerning various aspects of the crypto world, though these have eased up somewhat in the past year. None of this means you can’t open a blockchain-related business. But if it has to do with cryptocurrency specifically there may be some additional hurdles to clear with the state.
If you merely want to open a business that uses blockchain technology — say, to accept cryptocurrency payments — this may actually be a unique and unusual time to set yourself apart in one of the world’s most competitive working environments. For example, consider the fact that there is famously a Starbucks on very corner in New York City (or at least seemingly so). Starbucks does not, as a company, accept cryptocurrency. Now consider that you open your own coffee shop — perhaps in a younger area filled with millennials and Gen Z’ers familiar with cryptocurrency — and you accept bitcoin payments. You won’t exactly put Starbucks out of business, but this example illustrates how blockchain-related companies actually have a rare chance to establish themselves as something new and different, even in New York.
The final thing we’d point out to those considering blockchain entrepreneurism in New York (or any similarly competitive market) is that there’s a wave to catch. An article on Entrepreneur puts forward the interesting idea that now is the time to act on an impulse to invest in crypto- and blockchain-related ventures. This wasn’t based on some price chart or specific finding so much as the idea that emerging technologies and concepts spark waves of success. And a market as busy as New York is just where hopeful startup founders are looking to catch such a wave. This doesn’t mean that blindly throwing your hat into the blockchain ring will result in success and riches. However, if you have a blockchain-related concept with real-world appeal, that solves a problem or introduces a new idea, there’s something to be said for striking while the iron’s hot.