Northwest Arkansas will pay you $10,000 in bitcoin to move there and help turn it into a crypto hub
- A nonprofit in Northwest Arkansas is hoping to lure tech workers with $10,000 in free bitcoin.
- The offer also includes a free bike and has garnered more than 35,000 applicants so far.
A nonprofit in Northwest Arkansas is offering $10,000 worth of free bitcoin to lure newcomers to the region.
It's part of a broader push to spur migration to Northwest Arkansas and to create a crypto hub in the area, according to the Northwest Arkansas Council, which is offering the incentive. While the council is mostly hoping to attract tech workers and entrepreneurs with an interest in the blockchain, the offer is open to anyone who wants to make the move, it said Wednesday.
This offer "embraces the growing trend toward the use of cryptocurrency as a payment option by employers, but also helps increase our pipeline of talent," Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the council, said in a press release.
Northwest Arkansas has been incentivizing artists, entrepreneurs, and other types of tech talent to move to region since November 2020 with an offer of $10,000 cash and a bike — those selected could choose between a road bike and a mountain bike.
The offer — funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the family behind Walmart — has garnered more than 35,000 applicants from people in over 115 countries, the council said.
So far, 50 people have moved to the region, Bloomberg reports.
By offering bitcoin incentives, the council hopes to help fill the roughly 7,500 open technology jobs expected in the next decade, Axios reports. Northwest Arkansas also boasts a tech hub on the University of Arkansas campus known as the Blockchain Center of Excellence, which leads academic research on blockchain technologies.
Northwest Arkansas is one of several regions that has worked to attract remote workers during the pandemic. Nearby Tulsa offered workers $10,000 to move there in November 2020 — one couple who took the offer told Insider it was "the best decision we've ever made."
Greensburg, Indiana, granted newcomers $5,000 and offered to supply senior citizen caregivers to families with children, and West Virginia's program, Ascend WV, promised $12,000 to live and work in the state for two years. The program received so many applicants that it offered those who weren't selected $2,500 off their mortgage.
Vermont, Alabama, Kansas, and over a dozen other cities and towns across the US have offered various incentives of their own, including up to $20,000, free internet, or a relocation stipend — one town even offered a free house.