Arkansas lures tech workers with free Bitcoin — and a bike


(NewsNation Now) — In a growing trend, cities and even some states are offering incentives to get people to move in.

As an example Tulsa, Oklahoma, officials are offering $10,000 in an innovative program to bolster the city’s economy.

The Northwest Arkansas Council is investing more than $1 million to attract top talent to the region through its Life Works Here initiative. In the northwest corner of Arkansas, the initiative is offering $10,000 to relocate to the region — and that money can come as cash or in the original cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has grown in both popularity and in value. It is currently valued at around $43,000 per coin. But five years ago, the price was less than $500 for one Bitcoin.

The Northwest Arkansas Council believes this crypto craze will help attract tech professionals and entrepreneurs to the region.

If you are chosen for the Arkansas initiative, not only do you get the Bitcoin, you also get a free bike. Perhaps just a coincidence, as The Ledger, a 230,000-square-foot entrepreneurial hub accessible only by a bicycle, is set to open in the area.

It’s a trend that technologist Fred Brandon believes will continue to grow as more regions accept this new technology.

“We see so much adoption, you know, in mainstream now. Whether we’re talking about NFTs, we’re talking about metaverse, we’re talking about blockchain technology as a whole,” Brandon said.

Applicants for the programs will face tough competition though. In Tulsa, the exclusive initiative might be harder to get into than an Ivy League school, with applicants coming from all over the world. Only 2% of the 25,000 applicants get the cash for the program.

Regardless of those numbers, it’s a tactic Brandon says more cities will use in the future, just like Arkansas is trying to do.

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