Cryptocurrency paychecks in New York

New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams said he wants to explore ways that might allow New Yorkers to be paid directly in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as he seeks to turn the city into a hub for innovation.

Speaking to reporters in Puerto Rico, where he is attending the Somos Puerto Rico Conference, an annual convention that attracts Albany lawmakers, Adams reiterated a pledge he made this week to receive his first three paychecks in Bitcoin.

The vow came after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez proclaimed that he would take his next paycheck in Bitcoin, and the friendly rivalry that has ensued has provided a platform for both men to voice their crypto ambitions while serving as a challenge to other city leaders as well.

“This is a clear signal from me that I am not playing. We have become too afraid as a city we have become a culture of ‘no.’ We turn down everything,” he said.

“This used to be a city where we led from the front.”

Adams said he will have to convert his dollar paycheck into Bitcoins, as there’s no automatic way for him to receive payment in the digital currency.

However, he said he would like to “examine” mechanisms that would allow for direct Bitcoin payments, “so New Yorkers have a choice of how they want to receive their paychecks.”

Adams said that many in the blockchain community see New York as “unfriendly” and “too bureaucratic”, and he hopes to join other U.S. and global cities in wooing innovators.

New York City “must become the center of biotech, we must become the center of all these new technologies,” he said.

Electoral losses

In some of his first public comments after winning office in an election that was hard on Democrats, Adams said his party needs to “go back to the drawing board” and focus on the basics.

“Americans and New Yorkers are not complicated,” he said. “All they are saying is, ‘We do our job and pay our taxes — pick up the damn garbage, educate my children, make sure I can go outside without someone robbing me.’”

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