New York Democrat Mayor-elect Eric Adams revealed on Twitter today he intends to take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin. Adams also doubled down on his plans to make New York the “center of the cryptocurrency industry” after he takes office in January.
The clear statement of political support for cryptocurrency came in response to an earlier tweet by Bitcoin podcaster Anthony Pompliano:
“Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who won reelection earlier this week, replied to the tweet saying that he plans to take his next paycheck in Bitcoin.
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) November 2, 2021
This prompted Adams to respond by one-upping his Republican colleague:
“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor”.
The race to become the first politician in the U.S. to accept their salary in crypto is indicative of the friendly rivalry between NY and Miami to become the leading crypto hub in America. After he won the Democratic nomination for Mayor in June, Adams promised in his victory speech that NY would become the “center of Bitcoins”.
“Miami, you had your run,” he said at the time.
In an interview with Bloomberg radio on Wednesday, Adams vowed to “look at what’s preventing the growth of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in our city.” He also indicated plans to follow Suarez’s footsteps with the creation of MiamiCoin.
In that scheme individuals use Stacks, a smart contracts and application layer built on Bitcoin, to mine MiamiCoin, with 30% of the revenue going back to the city to fund public projects. The remaining 70% of revenue can be locked to earn rewards in Bitcoin and Stacks.
“He has MiamiCoin that is doing very well — we’re going to look in the direction to carry that out.”
NY has some of the strictest crypto exchange rules in the US. NY-based crypto analyst Stephen Chen from Inflation Hedge Coin told Cointelegraph that he hopes the new Mayor Elect’s support will see some more pro-crypto amendments to the 2015 BitLicense regulations.
New York introduced the controversial BitLicense regulatory regime in June 2015, which has been criticized for being hostile to crypto. The BitLicense applies to crypto organizations involved in transferring, buying, selling, exchanging or issuing crypto.
NY residents are only legally allowed to buy and sell tokens from registered organizations. There are currently 105 approved virtual currencies in the state.