The prolonged crypto winter has claimed yet another victim. This time, it is Mike Fraietta’s crypto co-working space EmpireDAO. Less than a year after opening its first office building at the historic 190 Bowery, a landmarked Beaux-Arts building built in 1898, the purported WeWork of Web3 is shutting down.
The decentralized autonomous organization was founded by Mike in October 2021, with aim of providing a coworking space for companies and individuals building Web3 projects. However, the company opened its first physical location in March 2022. Since then, Coindesk reports that the community has grown to over 1,500 members, with about 300 daily visits.
Despite the impressive numbers, the DAO has been able to stay afloat, thanks to the ongoing crypto winter. Notably, the price of Ether was over $3,000 when EmpireDAO began its lease in March 2022. The flagship cryptocurrency has lost more than half of its value since then, currently trading at around $1,200. In addition to this, the company took a massive hit in March after Solana lost around 90% of its value. A significant percentage of the projects that worked out of EmpireDAO were building on Solana.
EmpireDAO did not go down without a fight. However, a last-minute crowdfunding effort by Mike was not enough to save the office space. In December 2022, Mike tried to raise 215 ETH (about $260,000) to save the space. Sadly, the effort only received 27 donations totaling 6.71 ETH or around $8,000. Following the failed attempt, the donations will be returned.
Meanwhile, Mike has revealed that the DAO will not close shop entirely. There is bound to be a “Season 2” where the DAO will explore a new location. But in the meantime, Mike noted that the core focus is on a “clean exodus” from 190 Bowery.