Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Thursday on Fox Business’ Cavuto: Coast to Coast that he will be accepting his next paycheck entirely in bitcoin in a move to showcase Miami as one of the most “innovative cities on the planet.”
Suarez, 44, made the announcement as a followup to a tweet reply by Anthony Pompliano, a crypto enthusiast and investor at Morgan Creek Capital Management. “It is time. Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?” asked @APompliano, to which @FrancisSuarez replied, “I’m going to take my next paycheck 100% in bitcoin … problem solved!”
Bitcoin is currently trading around $61,023 per coin, close to its record high of $64,829 back in April.
According to the New York Post, Suarez gets paid around $97,000 annually as of 2018. This was his salary from the city but it wasn’t clear whether the Bitcoin payments would also apply to his other positions as lawyer, and partner at private equity firm DaGrosa Capital Partners.
The mayor said, on the program, that the decision has been made as a result of high spending by the government.
“My wife asked me if that was a good idea, but certainly when governments are spending that kind of money that they are, when you have inflation at the point that it is, when you have rampant overspending in government and deficit spending, all of that pushes in favor of an increase in the price of Bitcoin, which we’ve seen over the last 24 months,” Suarez said, when host Cavuto inquired on whether it’d be better to accept Bitcoin as a partial salary payment.
Last month, Suarez said that he was working on a plan to allow all Miami city workers to be paid in Bitcoin as well as enabling citizens to pay their fees in crypto, including taxes.
In September, Suarez mentioned a possibility to altogether eliminate taxes by allowing residents to participate in the mining of the MiamiCoin, a new cryptocurrency launched this year.
“When you think about the possibility of being able to run a government without the citizens having to pay taxes. That’s incredible,” Suarez told The Washington Post in September.
Suarez is enthusiastic about the prospects of cryptocurrencies and has been inviting crypto-preneurs to set up shop in the city.
“We want to be ahead of the curve,” he said to Cavuto. “The world is more disruptive than it’s ever been, and we want to make sure that we’re creating the most dynamic city on the planet.”
The mayor mentioned that Miami was not going to impose the new mode of payment on the city employees, and said that it was “completely optional.” He noted that Michael Sarasti, the city CIO, was actually the first employee to take his salary partially in Bitcoin.
“I am going to be employee number two,” he said to Cavuto. “I will be taking 100% of my salary in bitcoin.”
New York City has heeded Suarez’s call to become more innovative with crypto, and mayor-elect Eric Adams has announced Thursday that he will be accepting his first few paychecks in bitcoin.
“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor,” Adams tweeted. “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”
Adams, in his comments on Bloomberg, said that the city will be looking at the prospect of developing a “New York Coin.”
Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, have remained unregulated within the U.S. financial system. Suarez claims that this is what makes the country different from China.
“China has banned Bitcoin mining and has banned Bitcoin generally and I think anytime a country that’s a communist country, a command economy, can’t control what Bitcoin is, and wants to ban it, we should be doing the opposite,” he said on the program.