Miami will soon start paying its citizens in Bitcoin, the city’s mayor, Francis Suarez, announced Thursday.
“We’re going to be the first city in America to give a bitcoin yield as a dividend directly to its residents,” Suarez said in an interview with CoinDesk.
The city currently operates its own cryptocurrency, called MiamiCoin, that has earned $21 million in revenue for the city over the past three months, CoinDesk reported.
Miami generates a yield from MiamiCoin by “staking” its assets on other crypto networks. This means that the city’s digital assets earn a return for being used to validate transactions in other networks.
Suarez said a portion of the returns generated by staking the city’s cryptocurrency will be paid to citizens in Bitcoin, the most widely-adopted cryptocurrency.
“We’re going to create digital wallets for our residents, and we’re going to give them Bitcoin directly from the yield of MiamiCoin,” Suarez said.
Suarez plans to partner with major cryptocurrency exchanges to distribute the wallets, which are available for Miami residents, and he plans to implement a verification and registration system for applicants. The mayor told CoinDesk he estimates earnings from the project could soon exceed tax revenue collected from Miami citizens and that this model could become the dominant means of making payments.
“I do see very quickly a world where the satoshi (the anonymous inventor of Bitcoin) system is what is used to make payments,” Suarez said. “We want you to hold bitcoin but we also want to increase the utility of bitcoin.”
The company that manages MiamiCoin, CityCoins, recently announced it would be operating in New York City. Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced he would take a portion of his salary in Bitcoin, and he advocated for public schools to teach students about cryptocurrencies.
Suarez’ office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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