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  • Home
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Why Miami is Turning into a Bitcoin City

Hot off the heels of the recent cryptocurrency booms, the Mayor of Miami has expressed interest in having the Floridian city hold Bitcoin.

What is more, is that the mayor would even like to pay city employees in Bitcoin. But what does this mean for cryptocurrencies and economics? Additionally, is Mayor Suarez alone in his adoption of the currency? Or are there other jurisdictions and politicians interested in incorporating Bitcoin into their respective political platforms?

Political adoption has been a long time coming, and the Bitcoin crowd is excited. Many are unsurprised that Miami, a typically progressive city is a first mover on Bitcoin.

Will Miami become a leader when it comes to Bitcoin adoption?

Bullish on Bitcoin

Over the past 10 years, Francis Suarez, Miami Mayor, has been creating tech-friendly policies for Bitcoin adoption within the city. This is the perfect time for such a move since businesses are fleeing the old major tech hubs in California, for greener pastures. In addition to this, Bitcoin soared past the $50,000 mark earlier this month.

Suarez has put Miami into a unique position because of this perfect storm of events. Suarez claims that since he’s enacted the new, progressive and crypto-friendly policies “the amount of interest in our city from founders, venture capitalists, major companies that are moving has been incredible”. In addition to these crypto-friendly moves from the mayor, Bitcoin 2021 announced they would be holding their conference in Miami instead of Los Angeles.

But that’s not all. Suarez has even proposed paying city employees in Bitcoin. As well, he’s also tabled the idea of having fees, fines, and other expenses payable in Bitcoin. If such things were to happen, that would be very good for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. Adoption is huge in the effects it has for other cryptocurrencies, and the city of Miami is an institution all of its own.

If Miami were to adopt Bitcoin as a mode of payment, the currency should increase in value. In addition, it offers a place for these holders of cryptocurrency to spend that money. Money has to be able to move to be truly useful. So what we have is an accumulation of money in the form of cryptocurrencies, and these holders of cryptocurrency would very much love to be able to spend it. Let’s give them a place to do so.

The Rushing of the Bulls

Miami isn’t the only city or region or making these changes and shifts to create opportunity. Since 2019, Wyoming has been pushing towards more cryptocurrency friendly policies.

In May of 2019, the US state passed thirteen laws surrounding the field of cryptocurrency. It has been said that Wyoming is the “Delaware of digital asset law”. This is a reference to Delaware’s infamous corporate law regulations. However, if Wyoming keeps going in this direction, they stand to become a cryptocurrency investment capital and a regional leader in the field.

The state of Wyoming has been a major adopter of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. US senator, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming is reported as a person who “believes in the philosophy of Bitcoin”. Avanti Financial is one of two cryptocurrency banks, alongside Kraken that have received bank charters in the state of Wyoming. This permits them to provide banking services  in the field of cryptocurrency.

Kraken’s acquisition of a banking license for cryptocurrency was huge, being the first cryptocurrency exchange to acquire such a license in the United States. Banking licenses are a massive win for cryptocurrencies, as it allows exchanges to operate in more jurisdictions under a blanket policy, rather than a patchwork of regulations on a state-by-state basis. Overall, Wyoming is a state I would be keeping an eye on in the cryptoverse.

What’s particularly interesting about Wyoming’s quick adoption of cryptocurrencies, is their money transfer law. Wyoming exempts cryptocurrency transactions from money transfer laws, and other states are moving to enact the same laws. Avanti CEO, Caitlin Long writes about the finer details in greater length and detail.

Crypto Outside of North America

Cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon in a globalized economy. The US isn’t alone in the cryptoverse journey. Japan has been a global leader in its adoption, accounting for 10% of all cryptocurrency purchases worldwide, as of 2019.

Japan’s approach to the cryptocurrency industry is a unique one. The Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) is a group of organizations that have collective authority to pass and enforce regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan.

The JVCEA was formed after the Coincheck hack from 2018. Japan was in need of regulating cryptocurrencies to create a more secure environment. Regulation in this direction is smart as it provides a safer environment for trading. However, this is a fine balancing act. Over-regulation hampers the use of cryptocurrencies, as a huge part of their value is derived from convenience and ease of both use and access.

Cities With Tough Crypto Regulations

The state of New York has also been regulating cryptocurrency, however, their regulation has run in the opposite direction to Wyoming.

Would-be investors in the growing cryptocurrency industry are leaving the state “in droves”. While this has been hampering many, there are those businesses that are continuing to grow in New York state, despite the harsh regulations. The concern that New York regulators seem to be focused upon, is money-laundering, fraud, and market manipulation.

These regulations are quite sinister for cryptocurrency owners, as they politicize the currency. Regulations such as New York’s propose that only terrorists and criminals use cryptocurrencies and thus, they should be barred to everybody because criminals have access to the currency. However this is also true of normal cash, and also of counterfeit money. Criminals and terrorists use Iranian currency, US currency, and counterfeited currency. The means of paying for their ill-gotten gains will always exist.

Should any currency be banned because it’s been used for illegal purposes in its transaction history? Flimsy and politicized regulations are not good for consumers, as it serves as a means of protectionism for those invested in traditional cash and finance, and seek to hold back progressive innovations.

Forward thinking states like Wyoming and cities like Miami are paving the way for the future of finance. While states like New York, are standing in the way of innovation. The feeling of these legal battles is one of confusion. Cryptocurrencies seems to be yet another issue that is driving a wedge between the “United” states. These states are divided on whether or not they will embrace alternatives to the all mighty United States Dollar.

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Michael Brown

About the Author

Michael Brown

Michael Brown is the acting Chairman of community based thought collective, Subcultural Research Lab. His interest in Crypto began while studying industrial engineering in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. His passion lies in geopolitics, social phenomenon, and the exchange of data. You can find Subcultural Research Lab at subcult.substack.com.