A new company has its eyes on Norfolk, pending the passage of two bills in the Legislature.
Telcoin is a cryptocurrency company that started in Tokyo several years ago, said Paul Neuner, Telcoin’s co-founder.
If Sen. Mike Flood’s Financial Innovation Act passes, Telcoin will apply for a charter and move its headquarters to Norfolk, Neuner said.
“What we want to do is set up a chartered bank that allows us to create digital equivalents of global currencies backed by deposits under this new charter here,” he said.
Telcoin works with mobile operators and e-wallets globally, allowing the company to reach users with a contactless service, according to its website.
Neuner said he is interested in Norfolk because Nebraska and the Midwest have a reputation for honesty.
“I think there’s a sort of integrity brand in the Midwest,” he said. “That’s an important thing when you talk about trust in a banking system.”
When the company started to look for a place to base its operations in the United States, Wyoming stood out because the state had passed laws similar to Flood’s bills, Neuner said.
Neuner spoke to Flood about this, and the idea was hatched to bring Telcoin to Norfolk, he said.
The number of employees in Norfolk would be fairly small, at least at first, Neuner said.
“I think we’d really look at just an initial five to 10 people,” he said. “Beyond that, whether we end up being 10 or 10,000 depends on how we execute as a company. But we think that if we’re successful, this could be very, very good.”