Miami city officials passed a resolution Thursday night that could allow “crypto-forward” city employees to receive payments in bitcoin.
the city’s governing commission voted 4-1 in favor of a resolution by mayor francis suarez, which aims to ultimately allow miami workers the option of receiving some or all of their salary in bitcoin , while residents would also have the option of paying property taxes or municipal fees using the cryptocurrency.
“i want to thank the miami city commissioners for supporting my resolution, which directs the city manager, after analysis, to find a provider to be able to offer our employees a percentage of their salary in bitcoins Suarez said in a video posted on social media after the vote. “[The resolution] allows our residents to pay fees in bitcoin and would also allow the city manager to cooperate with miami-dade county to allow taxes to be paid in bitcoin.”
“also requests the state legislature that the city of miami support efforts to make bitcoin an acceptable currency to potentially invest in the future,” he added. “It’s wonderful to be a very advanced crypto city in the city of miami and I want to thank my colleagues on the commission for allowing that to happen.”
Commissioners debated whether strict state statutes would legally allow the provision allowing the city to invest in bitcoin. A draft resolution instructed officials to consider investing a “limited amount of government funds” in the “increasingly popular and stable reserve asset,” according to Bloomberg. some of the language was removed before the resolution was passed.
The mayor, who is seeking re-election this year, has been a frequent promoter of bitcoin. During a recent interview with Forbes, he admitted that his current cryptocurrency push is partly intended to help attract tech companies to Miami.
“We’re doing that because we’re looking at states like Wyoming and making sure we have the most progressive crypto laws,” Suarez said. “We want to make sure that we believe that if everything is equal, we win. So, we just want to level the playing field.”
Bitcoin has become increasingly popular as values have skyrocketed in recent months. on thursday, bny mellon, one of the oldest banks in the us. In the US, announced that it would enter the bitcoin market with the establishment of a new digital assets unit to help customers hold, transfer and issue cryptocurrencies. Days earlier, Tesla announced that it was investing $1.5 billion in bitcoin and would soon allow customers to buy cars using the cryptocurrency.
While Suarez and others have expressed confidence in bitcoin’s stability, others have warned against trusting it due to a history of extreme volatility. A Bloomberg report published last week noted that Goldman Sachs’ chief investment strategist warned against using cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange during a recent conference.
“Something with a long-term volatility of 80% cannot be considered a medium of exchange,” said sharmin mossavar-rahmani. “Just because everyone comes up with an idea and talks about it doesn’t mean it’s a store of value.”
bitcoin hit an all-time high of $48,912 on Thursday. bitcoin’s value has been on a steep upward trajectory recently and has also generally increased over time, with extreme jumps that have sometimes multiplied values many times over the course of just days.
However, the cryptocurrency has also lost value very quickly. For example, between March 11 and 12, 2000, when the covid-19 pandemic broke out, bitcoin lost more than half its value in 24 hours, going from $7,938 to $3,858. there have been several days in 2021 where values have fluctuated by thousands of dollars in a matter of hours.
newsweek has contacted suarez for comment.