Miami: The cryptocurrency capital of the world?

Category: Americas GCC

Mayor Francis Suarez is aiming to develop Miami into a cryptocurrency hub by modelling their approach after Wyoming

Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, is aiming to sell Miami as the crypto capital not only of the US but of the world.

Miami is nicknamed as “The Magic City” due to its rapid growth and fun, vibrant atmosphere. Now, Francis Suarez wants to turn Miami into a financial and tech hub.

The mayor told Dealbook:

Francis Suarez - AIBC News

“We want to be on the next wave of innovation.”

The city has undergone a massive marketing campaign, which included selling the naming rights of the Miami Heat’s arena to FTX crypto exchange.

FTX crypto exchange, which is headed by Samuel Bankman-Fried, was one vote away from winning it’s bid. Now, the NBA has just approved the deal to go through.

The deal is set to be worth $135million for the next 19 years and was approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission. From the $135M deal, $90M will be going into Miami’s coffers and this funding will be used to fight gun violence and poverty in the area.

Reports state that the agreement includes yearly payments from FTX to Miami-Dade. Miami-Dade control the naming rights for the building.

Miami Arena - AIBC News(1)

Moreover, mayor Suarez also wants to pay Miami’s municipal workers and accept tax payments in Bitcoin, while also invest Miami’s funds in bitcoin.

Miami has also experienced a massive influx of people coming to Florida from Silicon Valley and New York due to Bitcoin’s raise in popularity. There is belief that these two trends are related to each other, according to Mayor Suarez as companies are starting to realise the talent pool there is in Miami in regards to tech.

However, there is still an issue when it comes to regulation. Miami are said to follow Wyoming’s crypto policies. Wyoming, the least populous state in America, is embracing cryptocurrencies and has a number of pro-crypto lawmakers. These lawmakers are ensuring that digital currency remains an integral part of their legislative agenda.

Wyoming’s lawmakers had previously put forward a number of bills to attract the crypto industry. The three bills that were previously passed by the state aimed to make Wyoming the number one state in the US for cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses.

Miami has also gained the backing from IBC Group, a private equity firm based in Dubai. The firm claimed that is will spend 100,000 Bitcoin to help realise Mayor Suarez dream, by launching a Miami 2.0 Blockchain Strategy Foundation.

IBC Chairman Khurram Shroff said:

Khurram Shroff - AIBC News

“Making the largest Bitcoin investment in history is proof of our commitment to assisting cities adopt Blockchain, which we see as the key to enabling widespread adoption”

Which states/cities will join Wyoming and Miami in becoming a crypto-focused area? Could these initiatives propel bitcoin into the mainstream?

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