How crypto turned Portugal into a promised land for entrepreneurs

The crypto industry has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. It took less than four years for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to go from a niche industry to a global powerhouse capable of driving markets and shaping regulation.

It is safe to say that the opportunities that have come from this growth have changed the world, but this change is most evident in places where economic growth has stagnated.

This is the case with Portugal, whose reputation as a sunny tourist haven has slowly been overshadowed by low wages and falling living standards.

Despite being a member state of the EU and having enormous natural resources, Portugal has long been considered Europe’s waste. The country has struggled to keep young people within its borders as better wages and more favorable business regulations have pushed them to migrate to neighboring countries.

Growing up in a small town outside of Lisbon, I experienced this firsthand. Job opportunities were scarce, and young people struggled to find reasons to stay in a country that valued them so little. In the mid-2000s, agriculture was one of the few industries that offered a sense of stability. It has become the career of choice for many young people.

Innovation and entrepreneurship were hard to find in Portugal, and even harder to implement. Those whose ambition survived these conditions then faced various bureaucratic problems that further stifled progress.

The Portuguese are cursed with caution. Our grandparents lived through hardships and found themselves struggling instead of being liberated in the post-dictatorship era.

The uncertainty and instability they lived through kept them in a mode of survival that they passed on to their children, making it the default way of life in the countryside. This has led to a lack of ambition among the general population. Despite big dreams, many are afraid of overspending, reaching too high and stepping out of their comfort zone.

And while that was slowly changing for the better, it took blockchain to initiate those changes.

It is safe to say that blockchain technology has completely changed the technological and business landscape in Portugal. The creation of cryptocurrencies became a black swan event that fundamentally shook the country and created a better future for the youth.

More than a decade after the first Bitcoin block was minted, blockchain technology has helped fight unemployment in the country and instill a sense of ambition in young people. The opportunities it opened up helped Portuguese entrepreneurs realize that they could create a parallel global economy without government interference.

Inspired by the endless possibilities opened up by blockchain technology, I founded Masterblox, an incubator company aimed at helping crypto startups scale. With no external funding and a small but dedicated team, we have been able to use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to positively impact the world.

In its early days, the crypto industry was dominated by tech-savvy traders and developers. Such a homogeneous community made it difficult for others to enter and develop their business. However, in 2023, the crypto industry is full of different professionals, from bankers and analysts from traditional finance to lawyers, psychologists and traders. Having a wide range of experts working in the industry creates strong support for new companies looking to enter the blockchain space.

At Masterblox, we have taken advantage of this diverse talent to help our clients scale and grow their crypto startups. We quickly grew to a team of 20 people and achieved professional success that would have been difficult to achieve in a traditional corporate environment.

All crypto and blockchain companies in Portugal, including Masterblox, now have access to the global market. We can all succeed based solely on our talent and effort, unencumbered by the constraints of our local market.

This way of thinking makes it easier to overcome bear markets. At Masterblox, we know that there will always be new opportunities for Web3 professionals because we create opportunities ourselves.

Although Portugal is one of the best examples of the potential that cryptocurrencies and blockchain have, their effects are felt in many other countries. It is a real miracle to see the opportunities and potentials created by blockchain technology. People can now challenge traditional systems and address inequality from almost every corner of the world.

Guest post by Carlos Prada from Masterblox

Masterblox is a leading European web3 accelerator with a solution for emerging technology or improving legacy projects. At Labs, the company has the ultimate in growth hacking techniques, while at Masterblox Foundation, it has accelerator programs with the biggest names in the industry.

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