The Crypto Castle is a three-story home in San Francisco where young tech workers eat, sleep, party, and plot the future of money.
A majority of the millennial tenants invest in bitcoin, a new kind of payment system that allows people to buy things and send money with anonymity. There are no banks or middlemen. Transactions are recorded on a digital ledger called a blockchain.
Cryptocurrencies (of which bitcoin is the most popular) have been on a tear. Bitcoin surged in value from about $200 per coin in 2015 to a record high of $16,623 per coin on December 7.
Some believe the digital payment system is headed for a bubble that’s destined to pop.
“Over a half-dozen people in the time they’ve lived in my house have become millionaires as a result of crypto,” said Jeremy Gardner, a 25-year-old entrepreneur and investor.
In 2015, Gardner, then-director of operations at Augur, a market forecasting tool that runs on the blockchain, put down a $20,000 deposit to rent the house. It’s since become a landing pad for people working in the cryptocurrency space. Here’s what it’s like to live in the Crypto Castle.
The Crypto Castle is, by appearances, a fraternity-like space for young bitcoin investors.
Not everyone who lives here works in bitcoin tech, though any resident could pitch you on its merits. Some entrepreneurs moved in simply because they needed a place to crash.
In 2015, Gardner surveyed the city to find a house-slash-office for his startup, Augur. When he found a three-story home in an upscale neighborhood — located about a half-hour drive from Silicon Valley — he forked over the $20,000 rental deposit. The Crypto Castle was born.