The Northwest Arkansas Council today announced it will begin offering $10,000 in bitcoin to tech professionals and other entrepreneurs looking to relocate to the region. This incentive embraces the need for talent within the region’s growing tech sector, specifically within blockchain-enabled technologies, and in doing so, Northwest Arkansas becomes the first region to offer cryptocurrency to potential transplants.
"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."
The bitcoin offer is focused 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. Those interested in the incentive can apply online at Findingnwa.com/incentive, and applications will be reviewed by the Northwest Arkansas Council with support from The Center for Blockchain Excellence at the University of Arkansas.
In addition to the $10,000 worth of bitcoin, recipients will receive a street or mountain bike to take advantage of the region’s incredible mountain biking trails and paved paths. Alternately, recipients can choose a free membership to world-class arts and cultural facilities including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Momentary, TheatreSquared and Walton Arts Center.
This announcement is the next installment of the successful Life Works Here initiative, which aims to attract top talent to the region. The initial incentive, $10,000 and a Bike, remains open to remote STEAM professionals. Since the November 2020 launch, the initiative has generated over 35,000 applications from people in more than 115 countries and 50 states who are eager to move to Northwest Arkansas.
"Northwest Arkansas is an emerging tech hub in the heartland, with incubator opportunities for startups and an entrepreneurial mindset,"
"The recent announcement by EV company Canoo to relocate its headquarters to the region is a testament to the burgeoning innovation in the area."
The use and popularity of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has grown significantly in the past few years and is now accepted by many financial institutions and retail. Central to the emergence of cryptocurrency systems and other sectors is the role blockchains play in helping maintain the security and storage of the data by users.
The region touts the Blockchain Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas — a critical asset for Northwest Arkansas’ growth as a leading tech hub. The Center, which is partnering with the Northwest Arkansas Council to provide technical expertise and counsel related to specific needs for blockchain-related offerings, was established in May 2018 with the mission 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-focused work taking place in our region."
The initiative is made possible by philanthropic support from Steuart Walton and Tom Walton through the Walton Family Foundation.