crypto: Newly-minted crypto politicians find ways to ride the tech wave

Synopsis

The ballooning popularity of Bitcoin and other digital currencies has given rise to a strange new political breed: the crypto mayor. Eric Adams, New York’s new mayor, accepted his first paycheck in Bitcoin and another cryptocurrency, Ether.

A decentralised city government built on blockchain technology has been a longstanding goal of crypto fans.New York: Scott Conger, the mayor of Jackson, Tenn, campaigned on a modest promise to improve local infrastructure. He planned to build sidewalks, open a senior center and repair the aging storm-water disposal system in his city. But as he begins his fourth year in office, Conger, 38, has adopted a new favourite cause: cryptocurrencies. He has pledged to give city employees the option of converting their paychecks into Bitcoin.

The ballooning popularity of Bitcoin and other digital currencies has given rise to a strange new political breed: the crypto mayor. Eric Adams, New York’s new mayor, accepted his first paycheck in Bitcoin and another cryptocurrency, Ether. Francis Suarez, Miami’s mayor, headlines crypto conferences. Now even mayors of smaller towns are trying to incorporate crypto into municipal government, courting startups and experimenting with buzzy new technologies like NFTs to raise money for public projects.

Their growing ranks reflect the increasing mainstream acceptance of digital currencies, which are highly volatile. “Mayors rationally want to attract high-income citizens who pay their taxes and impose few costs on the municipality,” said Joseph Grundfest, a business professor at Stanford. But as with many ambitious crypto projects, it’s unclear whether these local initiatives will ultimately amount to much. So far, most are either largely symbolic or theoretical.
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A decentralised city government built on blockchain technology has been a longstanding goal of crypto fans. Conger’s crypto ambitions have already encountered obstacles. While he’s close to establishing a system for city employees to invest a portion of their paychecks in Bitcoin, his mining proposal has proved impossible to institute under existing laws.
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Updated: 01/26/2022 — 23:00