The mayor of Miami wants to turn the city into a Bitcoin hotspot

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez wants to turn Miami into a Bitcoin hotspot and mining hub. With favorable regulations, the ability to pay taxes with bitcoin and salary in bitcoin for civil servants, he hopes to attract the Bitcoin community and industry to the city. He is also investigating whether the municipality can invest in bitcoin.

Mayor Francis Suarez wants to make Miami the most innovative and technologically advanced city in America. That is why he has been trying for years to tempt the IT sector in Silicon Valley to make the switch from California to Florida. The hope is that this will create new and high-paying jobs.

He recently started focusing on the Bitcoin community and sector as well. In an interview with Unchained’s Laura Shin, Mayor Suarez explained his motivation: “We wanted to take an important position because we think crypto is the future and we want to be known as the city of the future.”

?ǣAs a city, we have put in place a decree that will allow our employees to be paid in bitcoin and allow our residents to pay taxes in bitcoin. And allow the city to explore opportunities for the city to invest in bitcoin,?ǥ he said.

Suarez also wants to create a favorable business climate for the Bitcoin sector and was inspired by progressive and ‘crypto-friendly’ legislation from Wyoming. In previous interviews he also mentioned Wisconsin and New York.

Above: The Unchained interview with Mayor Francis Suarez

Symbolic

Many civil servant salaries are not yet paid in bitcoin. “Not really ,” admits Suarez, “It was especially interesting for us to stay innovative and to give our employees choice.”

Above: FOX news segment with Mayor Suarez

It is also not yet certain whether the city will be allowed to invest in bitcoin, because the city’s investment opportunities are limited by regulations if volatility is too high. Suarez says he is still looking for creative ways to reduce the risk.

It therefore seems to be mainly symbolic steps with which he wants to put Miami on the map with the Bitcoin community. Suarez also indicated this during an earlier interview with FOX.

“Indeed” , he said at the time, “The world is always watching and the world always sees what cities are doing. If you are inviting, you as a city can benefit from that, as we do. I want the creative and innovative class to come here and create high-paying jobs for my residents.”

Supporter of Bitcoin

An underlying factor is probably also that Suarez is a supporter of Bitcoin. “It’s exciting ,” said Suarez, “because it’s also helping Bitcoin become more mainstream. And I think it contributes a lot to Bitcoin’s success when it’s approved and used by government agencies, which are seen as the biggest threat to Bitcoin. “

Suarez became familiar with the technology in the past through his participation in the Florida Blockchain Foundation and the Florida Blockchain Taskforce.

He seems particularly intrigued by the economics of decentralization. “I understand people’s frustration with government,” he said, “And overspending by governments and governments that manipulate policies to achieve all sorts of goals. I think that’s why many people are attracted to a system that is decentralized. which is not tied to a central bank. And I think that’s why it’s exciting, especially when you look at what governments have done in the country and globally . ” By this he probably refers to the large-scale money creation by governments to combat the economic consequences of the COVID crisis.

According to him, the future of Bitcoin looks bright: “As long as regulations don’t restrict it unnecessarily and there isn’t a major hack or something like that, then I see – especially when you look at how governments continue with monetary policy that creates inflation – then I see an upward trend.”

Suarez says he hopes the crypto revolution will eventually lead to an end to government policies based on budget deficits. Today, governments can finance budget deficits by creating new money, but that is not possible with Bitcoin.

?ǣAnd then they will have to borrow money, just like everybody else has to borrow ,?ǥ explains Suarez, ?ǣThey can’t just print their own money. They just have to borrow money at interest, and if governments are fiscally irresponsible then they will have to borrow increasingly worse interest rates.?ǥ

Crime

He dismisses concerns about the use of bitcoin for criminal purposes: “The currency with which the most illegal activity in the world, in the history of the world, is done, is the dollar. And we don’t take the dollar out of circulation either, because it is used for illegal activity is used” . He therefore does not understand why cryptocurrencies in particular evoke such strong associations with crime.

climate

While Miami may be one of the cities hardest hit by climate change, Suarez is not concerned about the energy consumption of bitcoin miners. ?ǣPart of the problem with bitcoin mining is that 90% is not done in the US,?ǥ he explains, ?ǣ90% is done in countries where the energy is not clean. And that is why it is seen as a polluting activity.?ǥ

According to him, the US mainly produces clean energy and he thinks that it would therefore be good for Bitcoin’s image if more miners settled in the US.

Miami would even like to become a mining hub, he says: “Because of A) national security reasons, because we don’t think 90% of miners should be outside the US and B) because we have nuclear power, so we have clean energy, a clean energy source whose energy is almost inexhaustible” . In the future, he foresees that solar energy and hydroelectric power plants will play an increasingly important role in the mining process.

Suarez also says that he expects bitcoin mining to change over time and that the technology will continue to develop so that it uses less energy. What he means by this is not entirely clear.

He may understand bitcoin mining a little less well than the monetary aspects. When asked whether bitcoin mining in combination with the warm temperature in Miami is a good idea, he replied that he does not expect the city to warm up. However, the question related to the energy costs of cooling installations in mining centers.

$135 million sponsorship deal

Suarez’s strategy already seems to be bearing some fruit. For example, the city managed to attract the exchange FTX as a new sponsor for the local basketball stadium. It is a 19-year $135 million sponsorship deal, with the stage named after the exchange.

Also, Bitcoin 2021, the “biggest Bitcoin event ever,” will be hosted in Miami next June as a result of Mayor Suarez’s commitment.

The full Unchained interview with Mayor Francis Suarez can be viewed on Youtube

material: Palacio do Planalto, license CC BY 2.0

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