EmpireDAO is leasing a multi-floor space in a historic New York City building.
Membership and access to desks can be purchased through NFTs.
See inside the space designed as a meeting point and coworking space for web3 creatives.
Web3 — the next generation of the internet based on blockchain technology — has come to the "real" world.
And one DAO — short for "decentralized autonomous organization" — has decided to call New York City its home with the promise of giving creators and developers in the web3 space a physical community.
EmpireDAO is now leasing several floors in a landmarked New York City building ...
... and it has filled the rows of rooms with plenty of desks and young web3 enthusiasts.
Its goal is simple: facilitate and expedite the growth of web3.
EmpireDAO — a concept inspired by hacker houses — first moved into the building in May after months of generating capital and interest, Mike Fraietta, the founder of EmpireDAO, told Insider.
But nothing on the building's exterior signals the existence of a growing hub.
The label-less entrance is covered in graffiti.
And around the corner, there's often a line of people waiting to enter the Supreme store, which shares the historic location with EmpireDAO.
Inside the multi-floor 34,000-square-foot space, the vintage elevator …
… wood detailing …
… and worn floors are a reminder of the building's historic life.
But unlike 190 Bowery's previous life as a bank, the building is now filled with plenty of web3, crypto, and NFT enthusiasts gathered around long tables and huddled over laptops.
Many web3 companies started out "remote-first."
But according to Fraietta, there's value in a physical space that operates like a conference by facilitating in-person interactions with other creators in the industry.
To do this, the space operates loosely like a WeWork.
The building has several floors with rows of desk, kitchens, bathrooms …
… windows with sweeping views of New York City …
... conference rooms ...
… a large common room, event spaces, and a rooftop.
Members can then use EmpireDAO as an "incubator" by paying for daily or monthly access through NFTs, which allows them to book one of the roughly 280 desks.
But unlike a traditional coworking space, EmpireDAO will have more rooms designated for creative use.
Looking ahead, the building will soon be home to a recording studio for musicians, equipment for digital artists, a production space for video producers, and even an event and performance venue for people who want to launch their projects.
And someday, there could also be a gym, golf simulator, and nearby Airbnb-style apartments for visitors, Fraietta said.
Given the growing presence of DAOs, NFTs, crypto, and "decentralized finance" (DeFi) projects and startups, it should be unsurprising to hear that EmpireDAO has been receiving "hundreds" of inquiries a day, according to Fraietta.
But don't go flocking to EmpireDAO if you operate a large company.
It's not accepting corporations who want to station sizable teams of non-creators in the space.
"We're not a coworking space in the sense that your company can work here," Fraietta said. "But if you have creators in your ecosystem and you wanna give them a place, that's when you come to EmpireDAO."
EmpireDAO prioritizes independent creators and nascent small teams as long as everyone is working in web3 and, for the most part, investing in each other's work via tokens.
"Just by working in [EmpireDAO], we all kind of incestually own each other's products," Fraietta said. "There's that kind of web3 skin in the game that's inherent here, and that's why it works."
Several creators working out of the space were previously employed b web2 companies like Instagram and Amazon in Silicon Valley before making the switch to New York and web3 …
… which Fraietta believes is a strategic location because the city is a meeting point between Wall Street' "interest and capital" and the creatives who are "locked up at the HBOs, Facebooks, Googles and advertising agencies."
Of course, we can't talk about web3 projects without talking about the tumultuous crypto market.
Crypto investors have lost plenty of money over the last few weeks.
However, this downturn doesn't really impact EmpireDAO, Fraietta said.
"There's been zero hesitation here," Fraietta said. "[EmpireDAO] is the creative layer, and the creative layer does not care about the underlying technology."
For now, the focus is to build a portfolio of creators like musicians, artists, and even comedians who've found success with the help of EmpireDAO's New York location.
And despite the unpleasant crypto market, EmpireDAO has received plenty of national and international attention.
So don't be surprised if you see an EmpireDAO space in cities like Denver, London, or Tokyo sometime in the future.
Read the original article on Business Insider