This week I was in Manchester with Coinbase’s Chief Policy Officer, Faryar Shirzad, for the launch of Stand with Crypto in the UK.
The UK has a burgeoning ecosystem of web3 builders and Stand with Crypto will galvanise these crypto communities, showcase the emerging use cases and innovative blockchain-based small businesses up and down the country, and create crypto advocates that will lend their voice to the movement. Through Stand with Crypto, these crypto advocates will share their inspirational stories, and the transformative potential of this new technology as the economy moves on-chain.
Manchester has a thriving crypto community of builders and innovators, and it was a privilege to launch Stand with Crypto in the UK in partnership with the Manchester Blockchain Alliance. The launch reception was attended by more than 100 web3 small business owners and ecosystem players from the Manchester area and I was able to speak to a number of them at an intimate roundtable as part of the launch.
It was fascinating to hear the real world applications and use cases being developed by these blockchain entrepreneurs. One of the guests was Sara Simeone, CEO and founder of Niftyz, a Manchester based NFT platform gaining traction in the legal space. Law firms are using Niftyz to tokenise and record legal documents on the blockchain to create an immutable notarisation record.
There are also many web3 businesses having real impact in their local communities. Josh Robson, who is working tirelessly to bring skill development and sport communities on-chain. Noticing the drop off of youth engagement in sports, Josh shared how VirtualBallerz is blending gamification and web3 into skill-building, turning sports into an impactful educational experience and celebrating every small victory through digital collectibles.
Hundo is another Manchester-born web3 business focused on youth issues, economic empowerment and youth unemployment. Founded by Esther O’Callaghan, Hundo is creating a virtual work experience and immersive learning platform, and partners with employers to validate credentials online, with the ambition of replacing traditional CV/resumes with a skills wallet. Hundo has already reached more than 80,000 students around the UK and globally. Speaking at the event, Ian Cox said: “The Manchester Blockchain Alliance has been bringing together web3 founders and CEOs over the years to support them as they build blockchain businesses in the Manchester area. Blockchain technology is transforming society, and we’re delighted to work with Coinbase and Stand with Crypto to showcase all the innovation taking place in the North of England. The UK will be a crypto hub, and we want to put Manchester on the map”.
About Tom Duff Gordon
Tom Duff Gordon is Vice President of International Policy at Coinbase, where he drives the company’s engagement with policymakers in global markets across the UK, Europe, APAC, LatAm, and the MENA region. Tom previously served as Managing Director at Credit Suisse, Head of Public Policy Europe and UK, where he had responsibility across all areas of regulatory policy and government affairs and chaired the internal global Credit Suisse policy committee, which coordinates positioning on international and cross-border issues. Tom is on the Board of the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG), the leading, cross-sectoral UK regulatory policy trade association, where he chaired one of the standing committees. For three years he co-chaired the main policy committee for the Association of Financial Markets in Europe (AFME). Tom holds an MA degree from the University of Oxford. He began his career as a consultant at Accenture.
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