By Veronica Brezina
The Chicago-based fintech firm CoinFlip will open a new office and cryptocurrency learning lab in the Water Street Tampa District.
CoinFlip is known for its Bitcoin ATMs throughout the US. To date, it has 3,500 ATMs across 49 states, taking its place on the frontline of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
By selecting Tampa as a site for its office outside of Chicago, CoinFlip will occupy nearly 8,000-square-foot of office space in Sparkman Wharf, which is scheduled to open this summer. Along with the office location, the firm will educate the public on cryptocurrency, establish more ATMs and create 40 high-paying tech jobs.
“We did a rigorous study on where to find the top tech talent and a great place to work – the data showed it was Tampa,” Ben Weiss, CEO and founder of CoinFlip, told the St. Pete Catalyst. “We are here to stay and have already filled a decent amount of positions.”
The decision to tap into Tampa wasn’t solely due to the results the study yielded, but multiple factors such as being impressed by the Water Street District and Sparkman Wharf.
“We had this vision for an experiential learning center and Water Street Tampa [developed by Strategic Property Partners] has that entrepreneurial spirit. It’s not another office building, they have built a community,” he said.
Water Street Tampa is developing nine million square feet of new commercial, residential, entertainment and educational space in downtown Tampa. Sparkman Wharf is the mixed-use waterfront destination within the district, which features 180,000 square feet of office space, 65,000 square feet of ground-level retail and a shipping container park for restaurateurs.
Weiss described the process-making process as a “holistic decision,” and listed other contributing factors, including the University of Tampa’s engineering program and meeting with the Tampa Economic Development Council, which helped bridge connections, and his team speaking with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.
“We’re honored CoinFlip chose Tampa for this project and its first-ever corporate expansion. Our reputation as a top tech city is growing, and I’m confident our strong talent pool will be a great resource for the company as it looks to expand in the area,” Castor said in the news release. “Not only is Tampa an engineering hub, but we are also quickly becoming a center for all things crypto. We’re excited to continue to build our presence in the crypto space with the addition of CoinFlip – a true win for the city.”
As part of the new office expansion in Tampa, CoinFlip will open what it’s calling a Crypto Experience Center, which will be a first-of-its-kind destination in the US that will educate the community about cryptocurrency and purchasing digital currencies via the company’s on-site Bitcoin ATMs, a cornerstone of CoinFlip’s business. It will be used to also host educational events to benefit both crypto beginners and enthusiasts, according to a news release.
“One of the things that’s hard for people to grasp is Bitcoin is decentralized, there’s isn’t a bank or government consumer protection,” Weiss said. “We will provide education on how the blockchain works by showing demonstrations and teaching people to make sure they are being smart and don’t invest more than they are willing to use. The center will almost be like the Genius Bar at Apple.”
Weiss said the company will not seek new funding in Tampa as the CoinFlip is bootstrapped, and in 2021 it earned a revenue of nearly US$100 million.
CoinFlip was also ranked No. 60 on the Inc. 5000, making it the highest-ranking crypto company included on the list.