New York Mayor Eric Adams Taking Pay Checks in Bitcoin

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Andrew Burton/Getty

New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams (D) said Thursday he intended to take his first three payments in the form of Bitcoin as part of his push to make the city look more inviting to cryptocurrency developers.

“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor,” Adams said in his announcement on social media. “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”

Adams’ announcement came two days after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) announced he would take his next payment in using a dollar-to-Bitcoin conversion service. Suarez has worked vigorously over the last year to attract cryptocurrency companies to his city. That effort began last December, when San Francisco venture capitalist Delian Asparouhov tweeted, “ok guys hear me out, what if we move silicon valley to Miami,” prompting Suarez to reply, “How can I help?”

Suarez’s subsequent efforts to woo the industry have included announcing that the city would accept tax payments in the form of Bitcoin, as well as offering it as a payment option to city employees. The effort has successfully siphoned cryptocurrency companies out of traditional tech epicenters governed by Democrats, including New York, which lost Blockchain.com to Suarez’s city in June. Ryan Selkis, the founder of data-tracking website Messari, similarly took aim at New York on Thursday — despite Adams’ announcement — with a threat to move his organization’s annual conference.

“The Miami mayor is [messaging] entrepreneurs with his cell number & pitching them to come to his city,” Selkis noted on Twitter. “Meanwhile, NYC conference venues won’t even answer phone calls & [proposals] after you run the largest conference in midtown in *two years.*”

New York state has taken a less inviting stance toward the industry than its biggest city’s new mayor. The legislature considered a law this year to ban Bitcoin mining for three years while the state conducted an environmental impact assessment, though the proposal has yet to gain traction in the state Assembly.

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