When viewership numbers rolled in from this year’s Super Bowl, it came as no surprise to see Ohio topping the charts: Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland all ranked in the country’s top 10 media markets for the big game. Dubbed the “Crypto Bowl” due to the newfound prominence of commercials by cryptocurrency exchanges, it stands to reason that Ohioans–in an outsized way–were left wondering: What does crypto’s ascent mean for Ohio? And what does it mean for me?
The answer to the latter is straightforward: Whether or not you’re a holder of cryptocurrency, its underlying blockchain technology has the potential to upgrade your “user experience” with money. That’s because blockchain–a system of coding that verifies ownership of any currency built on it–aims to free society of many of the headaches long associated with our financial system. Counterfeiting? Double-charging? Inflation? Predatory transaction fees? Processing delays? With the blockchain, we can reprogram the system to prevent these decades-long problems–and in doing so, transform the way we interact with money.
But upgrading the nation’s financial system will take an immense amount of work – and that’s where Ohio has the potential to lead. Because hundreds of jobs are already being created at companies like mine, which are helping financial institutions integrate crypto into their services, allowing their customers to access and spend digital currencies like bitcoin. Employees at big tech firms are flocking to crypto companies in what’s being called a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity.
With many of those jobs allowing a work-from-anywhere lifestyle, state leaders need to ask themselves: Why not Ohio? And to any Ohioan looking for an immensely rewarding, flexible, and fast-paced career path, you need to ask yourself: Why not me?
I grew up across the border, in a small town called Economy, Indiana – not too far outside of Dayton – in Wayne County. We were surrounded by cornfields. Dad worked at the dog food plant in Richmond. Potlucks were the main social event of the week. I left my midwestern roots for San Francisco, where I became co-founder and CEO of Anchorage Digital, a crypto company (recently valued at over $3 billion) with an employee headcount that now outnumbers the population of Economy. We’re growing more every day, and I feel a tremendous opportunity to bring jobs back home.
I’m a strong believer in the midwestern work ethic. I also believe that, if we’re going to bring the benefits of blockchain to the masses, cryptocurrency needs to look beyond the traditional tech hubs on America’s coasts. That’s why Ohio, as the gateway to the heartland, can play a central role in shaping the future of crypto and the jobs that come with it.
When we talk about crypto jobs, many of the same high-paying career paths that emerged from the commercial internet (which generated more than 17 million jobs in the U.S.) come to mind: software developers and engineers, computer programmers, and data scientists. But crypto, as a financial offering, also requires brokers, accountants, auditors, and the like. At federally-chartered digital asset banks like Anchorage, the talent pool expands to include an army of regulatory experts, compliance officers, and risk managers. And because crypto companies like mine are building entire organizations from the ground up, that means every corner of business–marketing, design, HR, sales, client services, and more–is in high demand.
As crypto reshapes the financial system as we once knew it, Ohioans don’t need to settle for being spectators. Whether they’re from a tiny town outside of Dayton or downtown Columbus, the opportunities for taking part in shaping a new financial future are here today. And the Buckeye State is brimming with untapped potential.
Nathan McCauley is CEO and Co-Founder of San Francisco-founded Anchorage Digital, the first federally-chartered digital asset bank in the United States. Pursuant to its latest Series D funding round, Anchorage has a valuation of over $3 billion USD.