The U.S continues to grab the crypto news headlines as crypto friendly states push cryptocurrency adoption. At the turn of the year, however, the push comes amidst heightened regulatory scrutiny.
Crypto Friendly States, Mayors, and CityCoins
There’s been plenty of news coverage on U.S politicians and cryptos in recent months. At the start of the year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that he would take his first 3 pay checks in Bitcoin (BTC). Former cop Adams had touted the idea before taking office. Later in the month, Adams took his first pay check amidst an extended crypto sell-off that saw Bitcoin tumble by more than 50% from its November ATH $68,979.
Eric Adams joined Miami City Mayor Suarez and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, both of whom also had announced last year that they would take Bitcoin salaries.
In the U.S, the Cities of Miami and New York are among the more advanced when it comes to cryptos. Back in June 2021 the City of Miami launched its very own MiamiCoin, which became the first CityCoins to market.
CityCoins provides citizens a medium to generate crypto-based revenue. Powered by Stacks (STX), CityCoins enables smart contracts on the Bitcoin network. CityCoin miners receive CityCoins token rewards by depositing STX into smart contracts. 70% of all STX tokens deposited into the smart contract go to the stackers.
The remaining 30% goes to City Wallets. City Wallets are considered a crypto equivalent of a city’s treasury. Mayors can exchange the accrued tokens for fiat to invest in the city. Alternatively, mayors can mine with the accrued STX tokens to earn Bitcoin.
Following Miami City was New York City that then launched its very own NewYork Coin (NYC Coin).
Regulatory Scrutiny a Test for Pro-Crypto Politicians
While Miami and New York are crypto friendly, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have a different position on cryptos and crypto mining.
Last month, a U.S Congress subcommittee hearing focused on Bitcoin (BTC) mining and the environment. Lawmakers held a negative view on Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining, Bitcoin and the environmental impact. While the hearing was a fact-finding mission, the general view was that Proof-of-Stake was a better solution. Since the hearing, a recent paper by CoinShares questioned Bitcoin the accuracy of mining statistics shared during the hearing.
Following the hearing, the White House then announced the imminent release of an Executive Order tasking agencies with the regulation of cryptos as a matter of national security.
Heightened regulatory scrutiny has been a factor in Bitcoin and the broader crypto market’s sell-off since late November. More downside could result should there be a material shift in the crypto regulatory landscape. A number of regulators from around the world, including the Bank of England, have called for a global regulatory framework.
In spite of recent crypto market volatility, U.S politicians continue to forge ahead on their crypto goals.
Florida to Receive State Fees in Crypto
Late in the week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly continued his support of Florida businesses being permitted to pay state fees in crypto. The Governor had proposed a program to let businesses pay state fees in digital currencies late last year.
According to the news piece, DeSantis highlighted that South Florida has seen an inflow of people due to the State’s crypto friendly stance.
With Miami City paving the way and Florida Governor DeSantis in favor of crypto adoption, success of the program may well hinge on the White House and its aspirations vis-à-vis crypto regulation and adoption. Punitive regulatory activity could force businesses to steer clear of cryptos near-term. A more pragmatic approach to regulate cryptos, however, could see more U.S states support crypto adoption.