Former police officer, vegan, and mayor-elect of New York City Eric Adams has dreams of putting the Big Apple on the blockchain.
In an interview with Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday, Adams bragged that he would finally transform the city into one hospitable to cryptocurrency.
“We need to look at what’s preventing the growth of bitcoins and cryptocurrency in our city,” Adams told Bloomberg on Wednesday. He pointed to Miami, which has recently attempted to attract the cryptocurrency industry to the city, teasing a “friendly competition” on the horizon. “He has a MiamiCoin that is doing very well—we’re going to look in the direction to carry that out.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s attempt to make the city a blockchain paradise has, as documents obtained by Motherboard recently revealed, not gone incredibly well. The city has run into numerous legal and practical roadblocks to, for example, paying employees in cryptocurrency and accepting it for taxes. So far, the city has only succeeded in lending its name to a new token called MiamiCoin (currently going for $0.02371) as essentially a branding exercise, and hosting major Bitcoin events.
Adams has been promising to do this since he was a candidate last year, vowing to make the city a hub of all things crypto. “I’m going to promise you in one year, you’re going to see a different city,” he said at one event last June. “We’re going to bring businesses here. We’re going to become the center of life science, the center of cybersecurity, the center of self-driving cars and drones, the center of bitcoins, the center of all the technology,”
It's still not clear what that actually means or would entail. This may mean contending with the state’s cryptocurrency regulations—namely the Bitlicense.
Introduced in 2015, the Bitlicense is a requirement for any entity that wants to carry out cryptocurrency-related transactions. Crypto advocates bemoaned the regulation as too cumbersome and overly restrictive for an otherwise unregulated industry fueled by speculation, leading to an exodus of crypto companies, eventually pressuring the state into issuing new guidance limiting the scope of the license and barriers to acquiring it.
So, there you have it: New York City’s new mayor is a vegan, cop, crypto-bro.