Bitcoin by the beach: Miami eyes paying workers and collecting taxes in cryptocurrency

The mayor of the city also wants to hold bitcoin in the city's treasury

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez praised the city's governing commission for passing a resolution Thursday that will study the feasibility of paying employees in bitcoin, as well as allowing residents to pay fees and taxes in bitcoin.

"I want to thank the city of Miami commissioners for supporting my resolution, which directs the city manager, after analysis, to procure a vendor to be able to offer our employees to get a percentage of their salary in bitcoin, allows our residents to pay for fees in Bitcoin... [and allows] for taxes to be paid in bitcoin," Suarez said in a video Thursday night.

“It’s wonderful to be a very ‘crypto-forward’ city in the city of Miami, and I want to thank my commission colleagues for allowing that to happen."

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The City Commission voted 4-1 to pass the resolution, which would also encourage the Florida state legislature to pass laws to allow Miami to invest some of its treasury in bitcoin.

"The whole concept of Bitcoin is to democratize a currency," Ken Russell, Vice Chairman of the Miami City Commission, said during the city hall meeting on Thursday. "It has become a currency for the wealthy. I think this is our chance to, in an intelligent way, to really try to bring this to our residents and our employees, but we have to do so carefully so they can make informed decisions."

Bitcoin, a decentralized cryptocurrency, hit an all-time high of $48,912 this week, but it is still prone to wild price swings.

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Despite those swings, Miami's adoption of bitcoin is the latest signal that it is going mainstream.

Andrew Yang, who is running for Mayor of New York City, said Thursday that if elected, he would "invest in making the city a hub for [bitcoin] and other cryptocurrencies."

BNY Mellon, the oldest bank in America, announced Thursday that it will create an "integrated service for digital assets" this year that will process bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for clients.

Stocks in this Article

BK THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON CORP.
$49.93
+0.63 (+1.28%)
MA MASTERCARD, INC.
$343.41
+6.03 (+1.79%)
TSLA TESLA, INC.
$751.94
+12.56 (+1.70%)

Mastercard said Wednesday it will support cryptocurrencies directly on its network, which will "create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment. "

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Tesla announced Monday that it invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin and would start accepting the cryptocurrency as payment.

"I do at this point think bitcoin is a good thing, and I am a supporter of bitcoin," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Jan. 31 on Clubhouse. "I think bitcoin is on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people."