Skip to content
CityLab
Economy

Arkansas Tries a New Strategy to Lure Tech Workers: Free Bitcoin

With a new twist on its worker incentive program, the Northwest Arkansas region is also marketing itself as crypto-friendly. 

A biker rides past the Walmart Museum's Walton's 5 & 10 in Bentonville, one of several cities in the Northwest Arkansas metro area. 

A biker rides past the Walmart Museum's Walton's 5 & 10 in Bentonville, one of several cities in the Northwest Arkansas metro area. 

Photographer: Terra Fondriest/Bloomberg

For the past year, a Northwest Arkansas nonprofit has offered a select few tech workers, artists and entrepreneurs $10,000 to move to the region. Starting this month, newcomers can get their bonus in Bitcoin.

Never mind that $10,000 will buy you about a quarter of a Bitcoin in today’s market. The announcement marks the region’s foray into positioning itself as a cryptocurrency hub — and represents the latest twist on the economic development strategy the Northwest Arkansas Council deployed in November 2020, when the nonprofit started offering $10,000 in cash, and a bike, to individuals who were willing to resettle there.