Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst and co-founder of the St. Petersburg Group, took home the Global Blockchain Association’s (GBA) top award on Wednesday.
The World Business Angel Forum and GBA brought investors from around the world together to introduce them to new leaders in blockchain technology. Hamilton was presented with the Global Impact Award at the GBA’s Global Fundraising Stage for his pitch on Catalyst Metacities at the virtual event. Hamilton said this was the first time he pitched Catalyst Metacities publicly and “thought it was time to validate the idea out in the world.”
With Miami becoming a hub for blockchain technology, Hamilton called this a victory for the entire city. “It’s an important win because it puts St. Pete on the global stage for blockchain innovation,” he said.
Hamilton is already making a name for himself in the burgeoning blockchain community, as he became the St. Petersburg Community Leader for the Florida Blockchain Business Association (FBBA) in June.
“Now is a critical inflection point where the future is being minted,” said Hamilton. “I support the FBBA in raising awareness about the fundamental changes trustless decentralization will cause in the fabric of how we conduct our businesses, our cities and our lives.”
The Catalyst Metacity is a “virtual community that overlays and then connects logically to a physical city.” It will provide tools, utilities, and incentives to catalyze local content and incorporate value for stakeholders onto the platform. For example, artists will have galleries where they can sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of their work. Homeowners associations will have the ability to create newsletters, and schools will have the ability to create news platforms. People that need that content will come together in the Metacity, where it will go to people’s feeds – similar to a standard social media platform in that one sense.
“Metacity life thrives with information, entertainment, interaction, economy and all the flavor and culture of its underlying physical city,” said Hamilton. “Metacities bring local to the Metaverse.”
Hamilton said an on-platform economy would support local businesses, nonprofits, creatives and many others. Not only can artists sell NFTs from their galleries, but schools will raise funds with virtual goods, and writers can gain paid subscribers using Metacity tools and conducting transactions with Fluents – the platform cryptocurrency.
“The list of tools we can provide is as long as the internet,” said Hamilton. “Each tool delivers value to the user and feeds an idea meritocracy where the best ideas reach the most Metacitizens through their content feeds.”
Securing the top GBA award for startups will increase name recognition for Catalyst Metacity and the first city it will represent – St. Petersburg – but Hamilton knows there is a long way to go and is focused on raising capital to fuel the project’s growth.
“Catalyst will reconnect cities that have been fragmented by big social media,” said Hamilton. “Our idea meritocracy will drive the best thinking to the most people to inspire innovation, resiliency and civic passion.”