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While China ejects the Bitcoin industry from its borders as fast as possible, certain Western jurisdictions are eagerly inviting them in. Displaying support for Bitcoin, four US mayors have promised to receive a paycheck in Bitcoin during this week alone. This marks the beginning of a fierce political competition to attract crypto businesses to their respective jurisdictions.
Mayors Accepting Bitcoin: The Timeline
The trend began as recently as Tuesday, when Bitcoin YouTuber Anthony Pompliano released a tweet on the matter. “Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?” he asked his 1.2 million followers.
The first to respond was the established cryptocurrency bull Francis Suarez – the Mayor of Miami. Within 25 minutes, he’d told Pompliano that he’d receive 100% of his next paycheck in Bitcoin. Given the mayor’s previous claims to crypto support, this move was hardly surprising, but nevertheless optimistic.
But it didn’t end there. The next day, Eric Adams won New York City’s mayoral election. His victory speech promised to make the big apple “a center for Bitcoins”, and called out Miami in the process. Then on Thursday, as his first attempt to one-up Suarez, Adams replied to Pompliano. He promised to receive his first three mayoral paychecks in Bitcoin, rather than just one.
The trend was now in place. Later that day, Mayor Scott Conger of Jacksonville, Tennessee followed-suit. While state law prevents him from being paid in Bitcoin, he will convert his next check to BTC right away.
Finally, the latest mayor to join the list was Jane Castor – Mayor of Tampa, Florida. At the Florida blockchain summit, she accepted Mayor Suarez’s challenge and promised to be compensated in Bitcoin through Celsius. Later, she said that Tampa was ready to become the next big cryptocurrency hotspot.
Why The Contest?
As Suarez told Fox Business yesterday, he wants to “send a message to the world” that Miami will be one of the world’s most innovative cities. He also confirmed that he will be providing a Bitcoin payment option to employees, as he has with his CIO.
As a rapidly growing $2 trillion+ asset class, cryptocurrency presents tremendous opportunities for wealth and innovation. Furthermore, while regulatory uncertainty still looms in the space, cities are quickly trying to show openness to aspiring businesses in the industry. The competitive environment is likely to encourage rapid innovation in the space going forwards.