Watertown company creates its own cryptocurrency

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin or maybe even Dogecoin. Those are called cryptocurrencies. Now, there are thousands, including one that originated right here in the north country called Astra.

In a small corner office on Court Street in Watertown, Jason Byers and Jeff Gardner have created their own money, taking the term “reach for the stars” to a whole new level.

“The end goal is to become the first and only interplanetary currency,” said Byers.

It’s a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin that you can buy on their website, but they say it’s that goal that sets them apart from thousands of others.

“In five, ten years, we’re going to have boots in the ground on Mars. It’s only a matter of time until there’s colonization, advancements, and now they need some sort of payment,” said Byers.

Unlike paper money, much cryptocurrency is decentralized, with no government control. That’s part of the attraction, but that also means there’s room for scams.

That’s why Astra’s founders say they are bringing transparency to cryptocurrency.

They’ve gained 2,000 investors since starting up three months ago.

“We’re trying to get our name out there and put a face to the name. We want to be community controlled. We want to hear what our investors have to say and what they’d like to see,” said Byers.

As for why he chose the cryptocurrency business, Byers says he wanted to know more about how it worked.

“I realized if I can create my own, I can fully understand it. If I can create it, I can understand it. Just like teachers, if you teach it, you retain it better,” he said.

As for its next steps, Astra will be holding an event for its investors called AstraCon at the end of September at Singer Castle. It’s there they hope to connect with investors and maybe find some more.

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