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Bitcoin's Big New York City Moment Is Coming (Later This Month)

The New York City Economic Development Corporation is hosting a bitcoin-related breakfast discussion.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Big Apple to bitcoin bigwigs: Spill it.

On January 28, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which essentially acts as a government agency, is co-hosting an invite-only bitcoin breakfast discussion with the Partnership Fund for New York City. The topic: “The rise and risks associated with increasing Bitcoin usage,” according to an email invitation viewed by Re/code.

The discussion is believed to be the first organized by an entity connected to the New York City government focused on bitcoin, the digital currency and payment network that has become something of a phenomenon in tech and media circles in recent months. Coincidentally, sources say the New York State Department of Financial Services will hold hearings of its own on bitcoin in the city right around the same time, if not that same day. (Agency spokesman Matt Anderson said the dates of the hearings have not been finalized.)

Among the invitees to the EDC breakfast were entrepreneurs from companies such as Coinbase, Bitpay and the Bitcoin Investment Trust, as well as venture capitalists including Lightspeed’s Jeremy Liew. In an interview this morning, NYC EDC Executive Vice President Eric Gertler said his organization has also extended invitations to banking and policy officials.

The goal, according to Gertler, is to get enough people in the room who are educated on different aspects of the ecosystem so that the EDC and other bitcoin newbies in the city can walk away with a better grasp of where the nascent industry is headed.

“We’re aware that there are both rewards and risks associated with bitcoin, but as more companies are accepting it, we want to understand it,” Gertler told Re/code. “We don’t like to ignore trends and we like to believe that if there is a new sector that’s going to develop, we want it to develop in New York.”

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