The Northwest Arkansas Council is a group of business leaders who are committed to promoting regional development. They have announced a crypto incentive program that will attract entrepreneurs and tech professionals willing to work remotely.
Nelson Peacock, the council’s president and CEO, announced Wednesday that the area will be offering $10,000 in Bitcoin (BTC), which is roughly 0.23 BTC at the current $43,610 price. This would include a bike or membership to arts- and cultural facilities. “Bitcoin and a Bike”, the next phase of the Life Works Here initiative in the area, is designed to embrace professionals in blockchain-related fields. Qualifying individuals will be eligible to receive the crypto incentive if they live in Northwest Arkansas for at least one year. This is likely to include Bentonville, Springdale and Rogers.
Peacock stated that “Northwest Arkansas is among the fastest-growing areas in the country” and added, “We’re now experiencing more explosive growth within our tech sector.”
“This extended incentive offer […] embraces the growing trend towards cryptocurrency as a means of payment by employers. It also helps to increase our talent pipeline to benefit tech employers and startups, cities, businesses, and the region in general.”
From above, Bentonville Arkansas Source: Northwest Arkansas Council
The requirements for applicants include the ability to work remotely and the ability to move to the area within six month of acceptance. They also need to have two years experience in their current job in the tech industry. Walmart’s Bentonville headquarters is located in Northwest Arkansas. The Walton Family Foundation contributes to the Bitcoin and a Bike program. Sam Walton, Walmart founder, was a founding member of this council. Also, the University of Arkansas has the Blockchain Center of Excellence that offers education in blockchain-enabled technology.
Mary Lacity, director of Blockchain Center of Excellence, stated that “Next-generation talent will be essential to further transform the region into a hub of up-and-coming technology innovators and businesses.”
According to many reports, Northwest Arkansas is being touted as an alternative to Austin, Texas, which has seen a significant increase in businesses over the past year. However, rising rents and higher housing costs have led to increased interest. Although it may seem premature to predict a mass exodus from the midwest, companies such as Canoo, an electric vehicle manufacturer have made plans to establish headquarters in the northwest region of the state.
Related: Walmart searches for a lead in crypto products to help drive digital currency strategy
Many mid-sized U.S. towns offered similar programs offering cash incentives to transplants who wanted to work remotely before and after the pandemic. This was apparently in an effort promote the local economy. In November 2020, the NWA council launched the Life Works Here initiative. Tulsa in Oklahoma was the first city to offer $10,000 for individuals to move beginning in 2018. West Virginia, Kansas and Vermont followed its lead in 2018 with areas in West Virginia, Kansas, Connecticut, Connecticut, Connecticut, and Alabama.
Disclosure: This reporter applied for the Bitcoin and a Bike Program.
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