Blockchain titan Block.one — a company with strong Blacksburg ties — announced it will establish its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County.
The new headquarters will come with a $10 million investment and 170 new jobs in Northern Virginia over the next three years, it was announced by Gov. Ralph Northam Monday.
The jobs and investment come with an incentive package from Virginia’s Economic Development Partnership, including a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity fund. The company will also be eligible to receive a major business facility job tax credit for new full-time jobs created.
Block.one’s largest American presence today is in a 30,000-square-foot building at Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg. That building has capacity to host as many as 200 employees.
Block.one employs more than 80 people in Blacksburg and the town will “remain a significant innovation hub,” according to a statement on the company’s website.
"Blacksburg remains a major engineering and R&D hub for Block.one, as well as the home for CTO, Dan Larimer. We expect Blacksburg, which boasts hundreds of innovative tech firms as well as a deep pool of tech talent, to remain a key location for Block.one. Arlington will complement Blacksburg, and help Block.one expand its highly-skilled workforce into new and existing job rolls," said a written statement from Block.one.
The company is hiring people for 44 jobs based in Blacksburg and 21 in Arlington, according to its website.
Northam indicated that the company’s presence in Blacksburg would not diminish, in the state news release about the announcement Monday.
“Block.one maintains a strong presence at its Blacksburg operation, and we are thrilled that this global company will expand its footprint in Virginia by locating its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County,” he said in the news release.
The state release said Arlington County was competing with Washington, D.C., for the project, which Northam predicted will be a boon for the state.
“Blockchain and other technologies are rapidly evolving, and industry pioneers like Block.one help to bolster the Commonwealth’s reputation as a leader in the information technology sector,” Northam said in the release. “The company’s continued growth in Virginia is a tremendous testament to the flourishing high-tech talent pool that is prevalent in diverse regions of the Commonwealth, from the New River Valley to Northern Virginia.”
The company was created in part by Larimer, a former Virginia Tech student and longtime Christiansburg resident. He says his team of engineers is building tools that will power the next age of the internet, using blockchain technology to revolutionize the way data is stored and shared.
Block.one also launched its own cryptocurrency, EOS, when it formed as a startup in 2017. That so-called initial coin offering made national headlines when it raised about $4 billion. A May report by Bloomberg estimated Block.one had $3 billion worth of assets mostly in liquid fiat assets like U.S. government bonds.
Since then, Block.one has been hiring aggressively at its various offices around the world, including in Blacksburg, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.