• While New York is synonymous with being the headquarters of TradFi, it has some competition in the era of digital assets
  • To show how serious he is about attracting blockchain and crypto companies to New York, newly elected mayor Eric Adams pledged to take his first three paychecks in bitcoin

Newly elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that he will take his first three paychecks in bitcoin. Adams thought he was going one step further than Miami Mayor Francisco Suarez who said Tuesday that he would take only his next paycheck in bitcoin.

But just hours after Adams made his announcement, Mayor Suarez told Fox News that he would take his entire paycheck in bitcoin.

Both mayors were responding to a call from podcaster and investor at Morgan Creek Capital Management, Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano who challenged politicians across the country to take their paychecks in bitcoin.

Suarez has been touting the pro-bitcoin party line since February when he announced plans to pay city workers in the number-one cryptocurrency. He also plans to allow city residents to pay city fees and even their taxes in bitcoin if the city council agrees to his plan.

Miami was the home of the Bitcoin 2021 event, and the first city in the US to have its own CityCoin, It’s also home to the FTX Arena, which inked a 19-year deal in March to take over naming rights of National Basketball Association team Miami Heat’s stadium, formerly known as American Airlines Arena.

For his part, Adams has pledged to make New York more friendly to businesses, specifically startups, some of which moved away from the city citing high costs as Covid-19 normalized remote work.

“We’re too bureaucratic, too expensive, and too difficult to do business,” Adams said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Our agencies — they go into businesses and are looking for ways to penalize or fine them. We’re changing that atmosphere altogether.” 

But up against Adams’ quest to make New York, the city, more crypto-friendly, is New York, the state, which has taken a hard line in regulating the industry. 

Recently, New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered an end to crypto lending protocols in the state, sending requests for information to Nexo and Celsius. The state’s BitLicense framework, once heralded as the first comprehensive money transmitter license for crypto companies, has been criticized as archaic and restrictive and incompatible with the DeFi era.

Prior to winning New York’s mayoral election, Adams’ was the borough president of Brooklyn which has seen a 356% increase in tech startups call the area home, including Blockworks, over the last decade.

This story was updated on November 4, 2021, at 7:31 pm ET.

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    Sam Reynolds is a Taipei-based reporter, covering digital assets and regulation throughout Asia. Before joining Blockworks he was an editor at Forkast News and an analyst with IDC.