Imagine a social club where instead of a sign-in sheet, there was a blockchain. A member could request to enter by submitting an NFT (non fungible token) and the door would only open when the system saw that they had sent one. This club already exists in New York City and anyone with an interest in technology is welcome. It’s called Third Thursdays.
Third Thursdays began as a monthly meetup for blockchain developers — but has since evolved into something much more: it’s become a community, and all digital assets are considered valid forms of entry. There is no membership fee and anyone who purchases an NFT “ticket” is allowed to attend. The space is filled with art installations, video games, and augmented reality experiences.
Once inside Third Thursdays, there are tons of opportunities to interact with other attendees. Board games are set up in between seats at the bar or on nearby tables. Attendees can play Pokėmon Go on their phones, because the virtual monsters show up throughout the space via augmented reality mode. People can hang out with staff members who will answer questions about blockchain technology or create artwork using chalkboard paint. There are even signs giving directions for how people can take turns playing retro arcade machines like Pac-Man whenever they want! All of these interactions require some level of participation from each party involved — which is exactly what makes all this possible thanks to blockchain technology
Since its inception, Third Thursday’s community has grown to include a wide range of people. Although it may be a good way for developers to network, that is not the primary purpose of the club. Instead, Third Thursday aims to create a space where New Yorkers from different backgrounds can meet and experience technology together in unexpected ways. There are always activities going on throughout the night, so everyone there is guaranteed to walk away with something new and exciting.
New York City’s newest social clubs aren’t the typical old boys’ and girls’ clubs with high-powered members who can get their friends into VIP rooms or secure a table at one of the city’s hottest restaurants.
They are crypto clubs — start-ups like NYC Crypto Club, which holds regular meetings for those interested in bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies as well as related discussion groups such as Blockchain 101; and Digital Currency Girls, a women-focused club that started last month.
The goal is to forge communities around investing in digital coins and building applications on blockchain technology — the decentralized digital ledgers that record cryptocurrency transactions — and learn more about how these currencies work, said Mary G. Young, president of Digital Currency Girls.
“But the main thing is to have an environment where women are comfortable coming in and talking about crypto,” she said. “A lot of times when you go to these events, the guys dominate the conversation. So this is a way for women to feel more at ease in that kind of setting.”
NYC Crypto Club was created by Anthony Pompliano , 29, who worked at Facebook and Snap before quitting to manage his own portfolio of cryptocurrencies full-time (he currently has about 20 investments).
He launched NYC Crypto Club in September 2017 with other partners; it now has 1,700 members on Meetup.com .
The club has two meetings a week, open to all. About 40 people attend the introductory session on cryptocurrency basics; another 70 typically attend a talk and panel discussion (the first one focused on the technology behind blockchain and digital currencies).
Pompliano held a free “Blockchain For Beginners” course at WeWork in Chelsea this winter. The event, which was announced on Meetup.com, drew 1,300 people — so many that there wasn’t enough room for everyone. His next online class will be held April 19-20 .