Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced that he would take his “next paycheck 100% in Bitcoin,” aiming to be the first lawmaker at the state or federal level to accept part of his salary in digital currency.
Suarez announced on Twitter on Tuesday before winning his mayoral re-election in response to a tweet from Morgan Creek Capital Management Anthony Pompliano, a fellow crypto enthusiast who tweeted a question: “Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?”
“I’m going to take my next paycheck 100% in bitcoin… problem solved!” Suarez responded in a quote tweet, also tagging Miami’s director of innovation and tech, Mike Sarasti asking for his help to do so.
As mayor of Miami, Suarez’s public sector salary annually is set at $97,000 as of 2018. Based on an estimated calculation, Suarez on a monthly salary is about $8,100. As of Wednesday, 1 Bitcoin equals $62,379.60 U.S Dollars. Converting an entire monthly paycheck, Suarez would receive 0.13BTC.
Suarez said he doesn’t need Miami approval to do the conversion, noting he would do it directly via apps. When asked which specific Bitcoin app he would use to convert his paycheck into the digital currency, Suarez said, “Bitwage or Strike.”
Last month, Suarez announced that Miami voted to move ahead with his proposal to integrate cryptocurrency into city government, allowing city workers to have the option of receiving their salaries or a portion of it in Bitcoin. Suarez brought forward the plan earlier this year to city commissioners, proposing a resolution to have Bitcoin be considered as another payment vehicle to city workers and directed the city manager to procure a vendor to offer employees the ability to receive a percentage of their salary in the digital currency.
“I want us to differentiate ourselves as a crypto capital of the United States of the world,” Suarez said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
Suarez has also launched MiamiCoin, a cryptocurrency where investors or miners mint the token on Stacks, and it is transferred to CityCoins. Using CityCoins, an opensource protocol gives investors an avenue to support their city by expanding its crypto treasury while earning for themselves. If an investor buys or mined MiamiCoin, 30% of the reward is allocated automatically to the city of Miami. MiamiCoin is only available at crypto exchange Okcoin, and Miami has its own reserve digital wallet where the rewards allow the city to convert the tokens into U.S dollars.
Since “MiamiCoin” launched in August, CityCoins has sent $17.8 million to Miami. Suarez estimates the effort could generate as much as $60 million for Miami over the next year and ultimately “revolutionize” how the city funds programs that address poverty and other societal issues.
“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, adding the city plans to hold the rewards from MiamiCoin for six months to “insulate itself from fraud and misuse and to give city officials time to respond if issues arise.”
The crypto-friendly mayor has been a strong advocate of digital currency and wants to make Miami the world’s cryptocurrency capital. Over the past year, several financial and tech firms escaped New York and Silicon Vallet, setting up offices in Miami, including Goldman Sachs, SoftBank, and Blackstone. Blockchain.com announced in June it was moving its headquarters from New York City to Miami, citing the city’s “welcoming regulatory environment serving as a hotbed of crypto innovation.” In June, “Bitcoin 2021” held its largest Bitcoin conference in Miami after moving its location hub from Los Angeles, California.