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This new meetup wants to spark Web3 innovation for Pittsburgh

From NFTs to bitcoin to decentralized autonomous organizations, here's what's on the agenda for Pittsburgh's first Web3Pgh meetup.

Cryptothingies. (Photo by Flickr user Zach Copley, under a Creative Commons license)
Pittsburgh blockchain technology enthusiasts have a new place to gather — and IRL.

Web3Pgh, a new initiative from RustBuilt Pittsburgh leader and Stronghold Digital Mining VP of Corporate Development Kit Mueller, will host its inaugural meeting at the Forbes Tavern downtown on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The monthly meetups will be free and open to all professionals with an interest in blockchain, not just those from the tech industry. As a local chapter of a wider community, Web3Pgh’s mission is to “focus on augmenting the ways in which the world is organized, thus allowing everyone to harness efficiency, democracy, and eschew centralized power,” according to its Meetup page.

The new community isn’t the first blockchain activity Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania have seen. Stronghold Digital Mining — which has some top employees based locally and a power plant nearby — itself is an alternative energy-powered bitcoin miner. Bitcoin ATMs have started popping up across the region. And, on the other side of the state, Philadelphia officials are exploring cryptocurrency options to fund civic projects.

Pittsburgh tech leaders across both industry and academia have taken to Twitter to joke and praise some of the more popular iterations of blockchain technology, like nonfungible tokens (NFTs). While some have laughed at the sheer number of possibilities that an NFT can be — a digital image or a tweet as just two examples — others have taken to engaging others in NFT-focused events, or even creating NFTs themselves.

“Based on feedback and input I’ve received from a growing number of builders, we decided to start Web3Pgh to better connect the professionals in the space,” Mueller wrote in an email to Technical.ly. “The first part of this effort is our monthly meetups that will each feature 3 presentations of new companies and projects. So much is happening both locally and nationally with decentralized platforms and protocols, and our local outpost is meant to convene and catalyze the great efforts already happening here.”

The first session will feature presentations on decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and NFT platforms from Confluence Capital’s Conor Platt, LinksDAO’s Jeremiah Lee Lancaster and Roadies’ Yaovi Kpoga, respectively. The two-hour event will be bookended by networking.

While other communities around Web3 exist in both the city and the state — the Pittsburgh Bitcoin Meetup and the PA Blockchain Coalition come to mind — this will be the first to be led by someone from one of the most prominent cryptocurrency firms in Pittsburgh today. And the guest list is sure to feature leading voices in local tech, with Meetup RSVPs already including former Work Hard Pittsburgh Director Josh Lucas and Confirmed LLC CEO David Radin.

To join the list of attendees for tomorrow’s event, register in advance here.

Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
People: Kit Mueller
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