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US Congressman Shows Openness To Accepting A Crypto Salary
Yet another public figure is interested in being paid with cryptocurrency, as opposed to fiat money. This time, it’s Tom Emmer – the Republican representative for Minnesota’s 6th congressional district. Should he follow through, Emmer would be the first US national politician to experiment with a crypto-based salary.
‘Why Not?’ Says Emmer
Emmer expressed openness to the idea in an interview with Bitcoin podcaster Anthony Pompliano on Monday. Pompliano mentioned the growing popularity of Strike’s “Pay Me In Bitcoin” service, which automatically converts anyone’s dollar-paycheck into Bitcoin. He then asked if Emmer would consider using such a service.
“Yeah, why not?” responded Emmer. “The idea that we can start to bring crypto into the mainstream, by converting some of our salary to that… I would take advantage of it.”
Emmer clarified that his acceptance would not be restricted to Bitcoin, and could potentially include other cryptocurrencies as well. By organically adopting the new technology, he believes people can facilitate technological evolution while giving legacy financial institutions a chance to evolve with it.
Emmer has a history of support for the broader crypto industry, backing legislation that protects it from overly strict regulation. In August, he and three other congressmen sent a letter to the entire house urging them to modify crypto-tax requirements in the Infrastructure bill.
Earlier this month, he also introduced a bill ensuring that any CBDC implementation in the United States protects user privacy. The Fed is currently exploring such digital alternatives for the dollar.
Pompliano promised Emmer to “send some folks” to Minnesota to arrange that he become the first US national politician compensated in Bitcoin.
Who Else Is Taking Bitcoin Payments?
In late October, a slew of US mayors began promising to accept some amount of pay in Bitcoin. These include Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who have since entered a rivalry to make their cities as crypto-friendly as possible. Adams in particular just accepted his first paycheck in both Bitcoin and Ether.
Athletes have displayed even more interest in the experiment: Multiple NFL players including Russell Okung, Saquon Barkley, and Odell Beckham JR have agreed to take their multi-million dollar salaries in Bitcoin. Two Golden State Warrior Players have elected to do the same, in partnership with CashApp.
Last week, an Arizona politician tabled a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in the state, which would fully establish it as a means of payment.