Arkansas council offers $10,000 in BTC to attract tech talents

By Raffaele Redi

The offer by the Northwest Arkansas Council includes a bike

Man using laptop in room with floor to ceiling windows                                 
Over 35,000 applications have been received from people in more than 115 countries and 50 states - Photo: Northwest Arkansas Council

The Northwest Arkansas Council in Bentonville, Arkansas announced it will begin offering $10,000 in bitcoin to tech professionals and other entrepreneurs looking to relocate to the region, becoming the first region to offer cryptocurrency to potential transplants.

The council is investing more than $1m (£0.72m) to attract top talent to the region through a ‘Life Works Here’ initiative, which, since its November 2020 launch, generated over 35,000 applications from people in more than 115 countries and 50 states who are eager to move to the US state of Arkansas.

The incentive will help with everything needed to set up a new life in the region, and embrace the need for talent within the region's growing tech sector, specifically within blockchain-enabled technologies. The area currently has more than 10,000 open positions and an low 2.8% unemployment rate.

In addition to the $10,000 in bitcoin, the council said recipients will receive a street or mountain bike or a free membership to world-class arts and cultural facilities.

Offer for talents looking to call northwest Arkansas home

The council said the bitcoin offer is focussed on tech professionals and entrepreneurs with an expertise in blockchain-related technologies but is open to a diverse pool of potential applicants “looking to call northwest Arkansas home.”

"Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, and we're now seeing more explosive growth in our tech sector," said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council.

"This expanded incentive offer, bitcoin and a Bike, not only embraces the growing trend toward the use of cryptocurrency as a payment option by employers, but also helps increase our pipeline of talent to benefit tech employers, startups, cities, local businesses and the region overall," he added.

Blockchain Center of Excellence

The region, which aims to join the crypto momentum, hosts the Blockchain Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas, considered a critical asset for northwest Arkansas' growth as a leading tech hub.

The mission of the centre is “to make the Sam M Walton College of Business a premier academic leader in research and education of blockchain-enabled technologies and digital ecosystems.”

"We believe next-generation talent is essential to further transform our region into a hub for up-and-coming tech innovators and businesses," said Mary Lacity, director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas.

"We're excited to see our region leading the way with bitcoin and a bike to not only bring in new talent, but also generate interest in the important blockchain-focussed work taking place in our region," she added.

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