Tel Aviv opens ‘Bitcoin Embassy’ for startups

People sit inside the Bitcoin Embassy in Tel Aviv

People sit inside the Bitcoin Embassy in Tel Aviv

“Welcome to the new economy,” boasts a sign at the entrance of the self-styled Bitcoin Embassy in the heart of Tel Aviv. The sparely furnished property opened a few months ago to support a community of Bitcoin fanatics, perhaps the most active in the world, who are out to build just that – a next-generation trading system based on the digital currency. At least two dozen startups have popped up in Israel over the past year with a view to creating tools that will allow the currency to be used in almost any kind of transaction – from buying shoes to sending remittances or issuing company stock. Israeli companies are pioneers in hi-tech fields like cryptography, fraud prevention, and semiconductors, all of which interact with the Bitcoin universe. That makes the country as much of a Bitcoin hotspot as Singapore or California’s Silicon Valley, says Eli Novershtern, principal of Israel’s biggest venture capital firm Pitango, which manages assets worth over $1.6 billion. [Source]

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