BlockSpaces is a blockchain focused hybrid venture studio that evolved organically by a community in response to the needs of the rapidly emerging industry.
This is Our Story.
In the beginning….
In 2013, a little known, fringe technology called “bitcoin” caught the interest of Gabe Higgins and Rosa Shores. After months of research, with little available information and a desire to meet others who understood this new thing referred to as “cryptocurrency”, the couple decided to organize a meetup and, in early 2014, the Tampa Bay Bitcoin meetup was born.
The group was very active in the area, and in December 2014, they collectively collaborated with leading bitcoin payment processor BitPay for the St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl and helped to onboard over 200 local merchants to begin accepting bitcoin. The Bitpay sponsorship of the bowl game was ahead of it’s time and only lasted a year, but it set the course for Tampa Bay to be seen on an international scale as being friendly to blockchain enabled solutions. The city of St. Petersburg was even dubbed “BitcoinBurg” by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
By late 2014, politicians were also beginning to take notice of blockchain and the potential power of cryptocurrency, and cofounder, Gabe Higgins, onboarded one of the first candidates in the country to accept cryptocurrency for campaign donations. It was also at this time he became one of the first Certified Blockchain Professionals in the country.
October 4, 2014
Although attendance would spike at the meetups based on the price of bitcoin in the early days, a solid core of attendees began to settle as understanding and promise of the potential of blockchain technology and adoption of cryptocurrencies grew. In 2015, the first rumblings of blockchain inspired distributed ledger technology (DLT), which was designed to be more suited for business solutions, began to emerge through big players like IBM, and the meetups began to have a more diverse focus. Then, in 2017, blockchain entered a hyper-growth phase as meetups began attracting hundreds of new enthusiasts and developers interested in learning and working together.
It became obvious that a dedicated space was needed to answer the needs of the community, and with their support, BlockSpaces opened it’s doors unofficially in August 2017. Even though the space had no air conditioning at that time, it still attracted dozens of developers who propped up box fans just to be able to work together.
After some renovations, BlockSpaces opened to the public in March 2018, and quickly became known as a trusted hub of information about blockchain from knowledgeable, experienced professionals in a friendly environment.
BlockSpaces is truly a community of professionals working together for a shared vision, which is realizing blockchain technology could be one of the most important discoveries in history.
BlockSpaces has attracted some of the best and brightest minds in the Tampa area to achieve that vision and to encourage others to invest in knowledge to gain an understanding of blockchain technology and build sustainable solutions across it’s wide range of potential applications.