New York City’s incoming mayor, Eric Adams to convert first three paychecks into Bitcoin as he competes with Miami to make city a ‘crypto capital’
New York City’s incoming mayor said he plans to convert his first three paychecks into Bitcoin as he aims to make the city a hub for cryptocurrencies.
Eric Adams, a former police captain, was elected last week to take over from current mayor Bill de Blasio in January.
He said on social media he wants to make New York “the centre of the cryptocurrency industry”.
Adams said he would “take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin”, but a spokesperson later clarified that he would be converting the funds using an exchange, as the city’s payment systems can only handle US dollars.
Adams’ remarks were an attempt to one-up Miami mayor Francis Suarez, who said he would take his first paycheck in Bitcoin after being re-elected.
“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor,” Adams said on Twitter. “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”
Suarez responded on Twitter that he looked forward to “friendly competition” between the two cities as they seek to become a “crypto capital”.
In August Suarez helped establish the MiamiCoin cryptocurrency, run by nonprofit CityCoins, which sends 30 percent of the currency created on a person’s computer to the city and has raised $7 million (£5.2m) for the city.
Adams told Bloomberg radio he wants to do something similar in New York.
The value of Bitcoin, like that of other virtual currencies, has been notoriously volatile since its creation in 2009.
But the currency has attracted increasing support from the mainstream financial world, even as it remains unregulated and is illegal in some countries, including China.
The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy Exchange-Traded Fund, the first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, began trading in October and was seen as a further legitimisation of the asset.
The fund tracks CME Bitcoin futures, or contracts speculating on the future price of Bitcoin, rather than the asset itself.
It follows the world’s first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin, the the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, which launched in Canada in February.
China has tightened its regulation of Bitcoin trading and mining this year.
Meanwhile, in August US Securities and Exchange Commission chairmain Gary Gensler called on Congress to give the SEC powers to regulate cryptocurrency trading, lending and platforms, which he called a “wild west” that was riddled with fraud and investor risk.