When a company makes the decision to open a new location, a number of factors get considered. For example, when a friend of mine was planning to move his coffee shop he first took into consideration the demographics of the place he'd be moving, whether or not there would be ample foot traffic and other neighboring businesses near his targeted area that could complement his own.
He ultimately ended up moving into a place near a university, as when he broke down the data he found the majority of his customers were college students and surrounding the coffee shop was a library and chocolate store (two very complimentary businesses to a coffee shop). Now you may be asking, Absolute Unit, what in the world does this have to do with a virtual game? Well nothing and everything, Upland doesn't plan to remain just a virtual game. A quick glance at their roadmap shows the intention to add businesses, cars, battle royales and a variety of other additions.
You've undoubtedly already read the title to this post, so you know exactly where I'm going with this. Upland is looking to open it's next city and I believe Amsterdam is the perfect city for Upland to move to. I'm not from Amsterdam, in fact I've only ever visited it for a few days, but when I break down the data and go through it's history it certainly seems to be the perfect location. So let's get into it.
Similar to my friend's coffee shop experience, I think there are three main factors for a crypto-related business to consider when opening in a new city - demographics of the population, crypto adoption rate and complimentary businesses. So let's run through those and see how Amsterdam stacks up.
Amsterdam is home to 2,480,394 people throughout it's metropolitan area. Of that population an estimated 81% are white and the median age is 39.5 years. I don't bring this up to make a race statement, I bring this up because Gemini recently did a report on the average crypto investor and found it to be a 38-year old white male.
Further examination shows that Netherlands as a whole, according to the World Economic Forum, is the third most educated country in the world. This falls right in line with another report done by 2gether, which found that the average crypto user was "highly educated". The only downside to the 2gether report was that it also found the average crypto user is a "foodie", and Dutch food is notoriously awful.
2. Crypto Adoption Rate
Amsterdam has one of the most developed cryptocurrency infrastructures in the world. According to a recent report by Statista, there are over 22 Bitcoin ATMs available to residents and more than 40 merchants that currently accept Bitcoin. This is far and away the highest number of any city in the Benelux region.
There are also multiple crypto-related conferences and meetings that take place in Amsterdam. The Blockchain Conference, Bitcoin Embassy and House of Nakamoto all call Amsterdam home. All three organizations are aimed at increasing crypto adoption and making it easier for newbies to enter the space. They also have Bitcoin Boulevard, which is a street where most merchants accept Bitcoin for payment.
3. Complimentary Businesses
Upland has already shown they have an interest in partnering with real life businesses, both in their roadmap and in game. This style of partnership is sure to bring more revenue and eyes to Upland as a whole. Amsterdam is the home to mining hardware maker BitFury and the European headquarters of payment service provider BitPay.
Binance also has an Amsterdam office, as does mining outfit Bitcoin.eu and Tesla. On top of this, all the businesses on Bitcoin Blvd would likely want a piece of the advertising that Upland could help provide. Needless to say there are multiple opportunities for Amsterdam-based crypto businesses to partner with Upland.
History & Landmarks
Amsterdam has a rich history, having been founded in the 12th century as a small fishing village, and since growing into one of the most important tech hubs in the world (according to a 2019 report by Savilis). Due to it's location, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (1588-1672) and a major financial hub during the same time thanks to it being home of the oldest stock exchange in the world (1602).
There are many landmarks and places of importance within the city of Amsterdam. If I were to try to cover all of them this already long piece would probably triple in size. Instead I will cover three; the Van Gogh Museum, historic canals and Anne Frank House.
First and foremost, the Van Gogh Museum. The Van Gogh museum has the largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings in the world. In 2018 the museum had 2.1 million visitors, making it one of the most visited museums. Located within the museum is the infamous Potato Eaters painting, which has nothing to do with crypto but reminds me of my one of my favorite shitcoins of all time - PotatoCoin.
Then next up is their canals. Their canals are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site as of 2010 list and rightfully so. Amsterdam is known as the "Venice of the North" to some locals. To others that title just straight pisses them off. To me it would seem Venice should be the Amsterdam of the South as Amsterdam actually has more canals than Venice, 165 to a paltry 150.
Canals of Amsterdam, aerial view, pic credit iamsterdam
Lastly the Anne Frank House. If you're unfamiliar with the story of Anne Frank, I'd recommend you read up on that here. The museum is one of Amsterdam's most poignant exhibits. I had a friend that visited it during their time in college and she said that during the visit, which took about an hour, she just could not understand how eight people lived there for as long as they did.
Not necessarily a cultural landmark as the three I mentioned above, but the aforementioned House of Nakamoto or Bitcoin Embassy could be great entry point for Europe based Upland players to start at. I'm sure a potential partnership could also be lined up with either organization, seeing as their main focus is on introducing and spreading the word about cryptocurrency. They would certainly love to have another avenue to reach newbies.
Like many port cities, has a diverse and tolerant culture. You know I couldn't write a piece about Amsterdam and not talk about the infamous Red Light District and Cannabis Coffee Houses. The latter of which is becoming less of a novelty with a shift towards legalization throughout the world.
These two attractions draw hundreds of thousands of college age males to Amsterdam to experience their majesty. In spite of these two experiences Amsterdam is not a sketchy place, with it being ranked the safest city in Europe and sixth safest in the world. While night life is certainly appreciated in Amsterdam, that's not the main attraction.
The Dutch are notorious for their tolerance. With a large foreigner population in Amsterdam (estimates of 178 different nationalities present), some can go their entire lives never learning the Dutch language. Perfectly content living with their fellow foreigners in a bubble.
Another interesting fact about Amsterdam is there's more museums per square mile than any other city in the world. Fifty one museums call Amsterdam their home. These museums house everything from priceless works of art to cats and hemp to funerals and torture. Chances are if you have an interest Amsterdam's museums might be able to help you learn more about it.
If Amsterdam were to be added next the first place I'd purchase would be the House of Nakamoto. Not only so I could claim that I am the one true Satoshi Nakamoto and reap the clout, but also because I don't want Craig Wright to have it. Honestly though I do think Amsterdam is the ideal spot for Upland to head next. It opens a whole new market in Europe, provides a great number of historical landmarks for Upland to tokenize and has an already crypto-literate population that would love to support their city in a blockchain game.
I hope you enjoyed reading. If you're wondering I am in fact not a bear, I'm sorry to have lied to you. If you did enjoy though don't forget to lightly slap that like/follow button so I know to keep making more content. Thanks!
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