Block.one locating U.S. headquarters in Arlington County
Block.one, a blockchain software developer backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and co-founded by a Virginia native, announced Monday it will locate its new $10 million U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, creating 170 jobs.
Block.one currently has a major operational center at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg that employs more than 80 engineering and research and development workers. It has additional locations in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
“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,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in a statement. “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. 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.”
Block.one publishes the open-source blockchain software EOSIO, a free blockchain protocol designed to be used and adapted and by developers and companies to facilitate secure and transparent digital transactions. It is powered by the EOS cryptocurrency that was co-developed by Virginia Tech graduate and Block.one co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Daniel Larimer, who grew up in Northern Virginia and has worked for Raytheon and Torc Robotics. An early Bitcoin investor and cryptocurrency developer, Larimer is worth more than $600 million, according to Forbes.
Registered in the Cayman Islands, the company has been largely based in Hong Kong. In a March email to shareholders, the company disclosed it held $3 billion in investments and holdings. It raised $4 billion in the sale of EOS digital tokens. Its major investors have included Thiel and billionaire hedge fund managers Alan Howard and Louis Bacon.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Arlington County to land Block.one, which was also looking at sites in Washington, D.C. The project received a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. Block.one is also eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for creating the 170 full-time positions, which will include corporate services staff as well as highly skilled tech workers.
“Block.one continues to expand its presence in the U.S., where we are creating high-skill jobs,” said Block.one Chief Operating Officer Andrew Bliss. “Our decision to open our U.S. headquarters in Virginia underscores our commitment to investing in the economic growth of the commonwealth, and our confidence in the talented workforce and support of local leadership. Arlington’s proximity to Washington, D.C., also allows us to continue building constructive business and government relationships as we provide insights for the application of blockchain-based technologies. We are excited to be heading down new paths of growth.”