A Chicago fintech company has opened an innovation center in Tampa as part of its expansion and as way to demystify what is for many the often-unintelligible world of cryptocurrency.
The company is CoinFlip and the center is part of an 8,000-square-foot space it has taken in Sparkman Wharf in the city’s Water Street Tampa district.
CoinFlip is a fintech company that’s powered by cryptocurrency. In this role, it has about 4,000 bitcoin ATMS in the U.S. and Canada where people can buy, sell and access crypto. The Tampa office is its second in the country.
CoinFlip plans to hire 40 employees in Tampa who will focus on engineering and technology. It has already hired about 15 people.
Speaking at an opening ceremony for the new center on Sept. 13, Ben Weiss, the company’s CEO and co-founder, says CoinFlip launched the ATMs in part “because we wanted to take crypto out of the cloud and make it physical. And tangible.
“CoinFlip was started with the mission of purchasing crypto and being involved with crypto as safe, secure, easy and, most importantly, as accessible as possible for everyone.”
To that end, the new center will be a place where anyone interested in cryptocurrency can come use the ATMs to buy, sell or create accounts. It will also be a place where anyone at any knowledge level can come and learn about cryptocurrency as well.
The center will be open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily and will be staffed with on-site Crypto Guides who can help customers complete transactions at four ATMs.
CoinFlip had revenue of nearly $100 million in 2021 and was ranked in the top 100 on the Inc. 5000 list the past two years. Crain’s Chicago Business also named it the No. 1 fastest-growing company in Chicago two years in a row.
In addition to the Experience Center, the company will have work space in the office. This will be where engineers and others will work on developing fintech products for Web3.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the blockchain-based Web 3 “is being touted as the future of the internet.”
“It offers a read/write/own version of the web, in which users have a financial stake in and more control over the web communities they belong to. Web3 promises to transform the experience of being online as dramatically as PCs and smartphones did.”
The company has also founded a venture fund that will help seed companies working on Web3. As part of this push, it will work with local innovation hubs to help find startups in can work with.
Given its push into the world of Web3, CoinFlip will open an exact replica on a plot of land in the metaverse organized by iamnotArt, a Chicago-based metaverse curator. The digital storefront will allow consumers around the world to access the Experience Center and utilize its offerings.
Sparkman Wharf is an office and retail development in Water Street, the $3 billion, 56-acre, mixed-use development just south of downtown Tampa. The project’s developer, Strategic Property Partners, is a joint venture between investor and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC.