What’s the hottest hub right now for anything crypto or blockchain? If you’re thinking Amsterdam, then….no. But it does have the potential, say both CryptoCanals Eléonore Blanc and BCNL’s Rudolf Van Ee. At the start of Dutch Blockchain Week, organised by Van Ee, they talk about the current state of the Amsterdam blockchain ecosystem.
Down the rabbit hole
“It’s happening here!” That’s what Eléonore Blanc thought to herself in 2017. After joining a meetup in which she was introduced to cryptocurrencies, she went ‘down the rabbit hole’. With her background in political science and public management, she could ‘only fall in love with bitcoin’s disruptive narrative of financial empowerment and economic freedom’, she describes.
Blanc quickly became a key player in the Amsterdam crypto ecosystem. In 2019, she founded CryptoCanal, a consultancy with which she can spread knowledge and create a stronger ecosystem in Amsterdam. As such she has worked with Luno, OKEx and Bitcoin.com, Cyber Capital and Satoshi’s Angels, publishes the Humans of Crypto podcast and has been hosting meetups and deep dives for the Amsterdam crypto community.
Things slowed down
Fast forward to 2021, and Amsterdam seems to have lost some of its early magic, says Blanc. “A couple of years ago, we had events every week and there were so many cool companies. Now, there’s also lots of bullshit out there.” Blanc blames the first-mover disadvantage. “We were very early, but then we got cocky. Back then, companies like Bitonic offering to buy bitcoin through iDeal payments was revolutionary. But they didn’t really grow from there.”