Eric Adams, the New York City Democratic mayoral front runner, said today, after voting closed for the primaries, that he would turn the city into a bitcoin hub within one year.
“I promise you, in one year … you’re going to see a different city,” Adams said in his election night party speech. “We’re going to become the center of life science, the center of cyber security, the center of self-driving cars, drones, the center of bitcoin, we’re going to be the center of all the technology.”
According to The New York Times, Adams is currently leading New York City’s mayoral race with around 32% of votes. But the primary election results will likely not be known until mid-July, when they are expected to be announced.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a longtime bitcoin fan who has made similar promises, was running second in line before he decided to drop out of the race earlier this week. Now, The New York Times data shows that Adams’ closest rival is Maya Wiley, who is more than 75,000 votes behind.
Adams didn’t elaborate on how he plans to achieve his ambitious goal of turning New York City into a Bitcoin hub, but he did send a message to his primary competitor in this regard — Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
“Miami, you had your run. We’re bringing our businesses back,” said Adams.
But the mayoral candidate might be facing fierce competition, as Miami has already started taking tangible measures to bring bitcoin to city-level adoption.
Suarez has set a personal goal to turn his tropical city into a bitcoin-savvy economy before 2022. The Miami mayor, who bought bitcoin himself after U.S. President Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, has already seen the city commission explore paying city employees in bitcoin, allowing residents to pay taxes and fees in bitcoin and using city funds to invest in bitcoin. Furthermore, Suarez has recently sought to attract bitcoin miners to his city.
On the other hand, New York’s own legislation might pose difficulties for Adams to outpace Miami and turn his city into the center of Bitcoin. The notorious BitLicense, a business license for bitcoin activities issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services, entails considerable costs to those wishing to operate in the state. Apart from the $5,000 application fee, a report calculates that gathering and constructing all of the information for the application process can amount to over $100,000. In addition, BitLicense’s extensive requirements pose a privacy concern for many in the bitcoin industry, who see it as intrusive and unjustly targeting bitcoin startups. For instance, prominent Lightning network startup Strike — which is helping El Salvador establish bitcoin as legal tender — does not work in New York.