Why aspiring NYC mayor Eric Adams wants to “get big” at Crypto


New York City Mayor-Elect Eric Adams wants to turn the Big Apple into a crypto hub. Adams won’t take office until January, but he’s already thrown his hat in the ring for the position of most crypto-friendly mayor.

Adams wants to be paid in Bitcoin (BTC) and get cryptocurrency in the school curriculum, among other things. Read on to find out what he suggests and if he can deliver.

Eric Adams, New York, and cryptocurrency

Shortly after his election on Nov. 2, Adams tweeted, “We always go big in New York, so I’ll take my first THREE paychecks in bitcoin when I become mayor. NYC will be the hub of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”

Adams also spoke about the need for increased crypto education in school. He thinks it is important for young people to understand how Bitcoin and cryptocurrency work.

There’s an element of superiority here as Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez wants to be able to pay the city’s employees in bitcoin. Suarez has taken several other moves to establish Miami as the crypto capital, and there are several cities vying for crypto-friendly status. This now includes New York, Miami, San Francisco, Austin, and Denver.

In some ways, Miami leads the way – it has already launched its own MiamiCoin, which has generated an estimated $ 7.1 million in sales for the city. The group behind the project, CityCoins, also launched a NewYorkCityCoin on November 10th and there is talk of launching a coin in Austin soon.

Becoming a crypto hub could mean attracting fast-growing blockchain companies and creating more jobs and investment opportunities. For Adams, it’s also about positioning New York as a center of innovation. But it might not be that easy to get some crypto-friendly tweets out.

Can Adams deliver on his crypto pledges?

Adams will have an uphill battle to make New York a truly crypto-friendly city. It currently has some of the strictest crypto regulations in the US, and it is the state government that sets many of those rules, not the mayor.

Plus, the New York attorney general has eagerly embraced the role of Krypto’s evil cop. Speaking of crypto platforms in March, Attorney General Letitia James said, “We are sending a clear message to the entire industry that either you are playing by the rules or we are closing you down.”

Cryptocurrency exchanges require what is known as a “BitLicense” to function in New York. So far, only an estimated 30 or so exchanges have worked their way through the regulatory bureaucracy. Platforms must adhere to strict anti-money laundering regulations and can only sell a limited selection of tokens.

Now, many would argue that increased investor protection and regulation are not a bad thing. But it complicates matters when you’re trying to attract crypto businesses.

This brings us to another topic. New Yorkers can’t really mine the NewYorkCityCoin. In order to mine the coin, you must have the Stacks (STX) token. But as one CoinTelegraph writer pointed out, none of the licensed exchanges in New York can currently trade STX. In fact, only a few major US crypto exchanges trade STX even outside of New York, which means it would be difficult for many Americans to buy the token.

For Adams, getting paid with Bitcoin isn’t even as easy as it seems. The mechanisms for paying state and municipal employees in crypto are simply not in place yet. He can (and likely will) convert his salary to Bitcoin once he gets it, as few Americans can currently claim a crypto salary. And to be honest, they might not want to – getting paid in crypto sounds cool, but the nuts and bolts might not even be legal. You certainly need to consult a tax advisor before deciding to start receiving your cryptocurrency salary.

Bottom line

The race for cities has begun to establish their crypto-friendly credentials. Given the economic woes of the pandemic, it is not surprising that authorities are looking to attract new businesses and create jobs.

But as with many things in the cryptocurrency industry, there is a risk of putting the cart in front of the horse. On the one hand, for crypto investors – especially in New York – the more politicians advocate crypto-friendly rules, the better.

On the other hand, there is a lot to consider if authorities are serious about attracting the crypto industry. From the environmental damage of Bitcoin mining to the need for investor protection to the potential impact of increased regulation, it has to be part of a well-designed plan.


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