Cryptocurrency Trends


Cryptocurrency Trends

The Evolution of Cryptocurrencies: Lessons for Future Tech Opportunities


The world was abuzz with cryptocurrencies just last year. Celebrities, athletes, news anchors, and investors all couldn't stop talking about it. Even elected officials explored crypto as a solution to various challenges like job growth and income inequality.

However, the crypto hype has dwindled, though Bitcoin recently showed gains. The focus has shifted towards generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and powering systems.

This leads us to ask: What's the current state of the crypto craze amid the dominance of new AI systems? How has crypto-related job and startup growth recovered post-crash, and where hasn't it? What lessons can officials draw for the next big tech opportunity?

To answer these questions, we rely on fresh data to analyze crypto activity in the U.S. We track overall commercial activity through crypto and blockchain job postings and measure entrepreneurial dynamism with startup data. This analysis helps guide policymakers.


The Turbulent Crypto Trends

Crypto trends in recent years have been turbulent. Even compared to its historically unstable nature, crypto's recent journey has been wild. During the peak of the hype, local leaders eagerly embraced cryptocurrencies, introducing bills, and launching PR stunts.

However, by the end of 2022, the crypto industry took a hit due to various collapses, leading to bankruptcy filings and retail investor losses. The collapse forced local leaders to shift their focus toward consumer protection.

Job postings requiring crypto skills mirrored this rollercoaster ride. They saw an upward trend during the peak of crypto popularity, with a significant surge in 2021 and early 2022. But in the latter half of 2022, these postings dropped dramatically.

Entrepreneurial activity in the crypto space followed a similar pattern, rising and falling with Bitcoin's value.


Regional Disparities in Crypto Activity

Crypto activity was not uniform across metro areas. A few tech and finance hubs like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles saw significant crypto presence. However, most other areas experienced declines in crypto-related job postings after the market crash.

These dynamics suggest that existing tech hubs had a competitive advantage in attracting crypto business. It wasn't merely about luring crypto companies; it was about having a robust tech ecosystem in place.


Crypto's Concentration in Superstar Cities

The concentration of crypto activity in superstar cities highlights how disruptive technologies cluster in larger markets. While many local leaders aimed to attract crypto businesses, the most significant and resilient crypto centers were already tech or finance hubs.

Moreover, the presence of a large-scale local tech ecosystem mattered more than light-touch regulation. Even in regulated places like New York, crypto-related job growth continued, while crypto-friendly environments didn't recover faster.


Preparing for Future Tech Opportunities

As local leaders move past the crypto era, they should reflect on how to capitalize on emerging technologies like generative AI. They can start by evaluating the potential of new technologies and their use cases.

Leaders should base their strategies on empirical evidence and consider the suitability of the technology for their region. Is it speculative, or does it promise stable, sustainable jobs?

An ecosystem perspective is valuable. It's not just about attracting businesses but nurturing a broader innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship.

The crypto bubble's collapse should serve as a cautionary tale. Not all emerging technologies live up to the hype. Due diligence is essential to ensure that new technologies align with economic development goals.

In conclusion, the crypto era may have passed, but the lessons learned can guide local leaders toward more informed decisions when embracing future tech opportunities.

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