Miami mayor embraces bitcoin
Bitcoin,  Politics,  Regulation

Miami Mayor: Pay city workers, accept taxes in Bitcoin

Mayor Francis Suarez wants to make Miami a player in the cryptocurrency industry, and hopes to convince the state to let it invest in Bitcoin

Miami’s City Commission has agreed to study Mayor Francis Suarez’s proposal to accept fees and allow municipal workers to be paid with Bitcoin.

In a Feb. 12 tweet, Suarez said that he is exploring paying employees in Bitcoin and hopes to win permission to invest city funds in it.

“I want to thank the city of Miami commissioners for supporting my resolution which directs the city manager after analysis to procure a vendor to be able to offer our employees to get a percentage of their salary in Bitcoin, allows our residents to pay for fees in Bitcoin, and also allow the city manager to cooperate with Miami-Dade County to allow for taxes to be paid in Bitcoin,” Suarez said in comments posted on Twitter.

Suarez also said that his proposal asks the state legislature to allow Miami “to make Bitcoin an acceptable currency for us to potentially invest in the future.” Florida only permits local governments to invest in low-volatility instruments issued by the United States government. 

Suarez concluded that it is “wonderful to be a very crypto-forward city in the city of Miami.”

Suarez also made clear that he wants to attract the crypto industry to establish local operations, saying “[Miami] is committed to promoting the emergence of Bitcoin as it continues to gain mainstream acceptance.”

According to a Feb. 11 Bloomberg article, the resolution was approved 4 to 1, but in a significantly weaker form than the original version. It only agrees to study the practicality of the steps described above, rather than outright adopting Bitcoin citywide.

“Let’s analyze this before we jump in,” City Commissioner Manolo Reyes cautioned. “Maybe you’re ahead of your time, maybe you’re right, but let’s analyze it.”

Still, Suarez’s comments at the city commission suggests that he believes this is a watershed moment for cryptocurrencies:

“I think we’re on the cusp of seeing a major titanic shift on this… It’s an industry that’s boisterous, vociferous and growing, and this would send the right signal.”

The industry replied in kind, pointing to Suarez’s comments in the latest in a series of broadly bullish moves this week by mainstream finance to get behind bitcoin.

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Adrian is a newswriter based out of Pisa, Italy. He's passionate about cryptocurrency, digital rights, IT, tech and futurology and likes to think about the future in a positive way.