New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed his first paycheck—which arrives on Friday—will be converted into Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Coinbase Global Inc., the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, will be handling the conversion through its direct deposit feature, which allows eligible users to automatically transfer a portion or the entirety of their paycheck into a crypto wallet.
As mayor-elect, Adams vowed to take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin and welcomed the development of a NYC Coin similar to Miami’s as a way to make New York a more crypto-friendly city. The Mayor’s office declined to say how long Adams planned to hold the cryptocurrencies, but confirmed his gross paycheck of $9,924.66 would be deposited into an account with Coinbase, which will soon offer debit cards.
“We’re encouraged to see NYC Mayor Eric Adams accepting his first paycheck in crypto,” said Diogo Mónica, president and co-counder of Anchorage Digital. “This is a signal that the financial capital of the world is open for crypto innovation.”
What Adams can do as a mayor to support crypto adoption, however, is limited. New York businesses are subject to one of the strictest regulatory regimes in the U.S., which he has no power over, as its controlled by the state. Additionally, Adams said the city can’t pay employees directly in cryptocurrency due to U.S. Department of Labor regulations.
Still, Adams has expressed intentions to build a U.S. cryptocurrency center by waging a “friendly competition” with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who also said he’d take his next paycheck in Bitcoin.
“New York is the center of the world, and we want it to be the center of cryptocurrency and other financial innovations,” Adams said in a statement early Thursday. “Being on the forefront of such innovation will help us create jobs, improve our economy, and continue to be a magnet for talent from all over the globe.”
A Coinbase spokesperson said: “We’re pleased to be able to support this initiative.”
—With assistance from Crystal Kim and Vildana Hajric
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