Suárez announces digital wallets in bitcoin for miamenses

Miami residents could receive a “yield” of bitcoin thanks to the MiamiCoin project.

In an interview with crypto news portal Coindesk.com on Thursday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he was planning to turn the millions of dollars in profit that MiamiCoin has created into a bitcoin “dividend.”

“We will be the first city in the United States to give a bitcoin yield as a dividend directly to its inhabitants,” said Suárez. “We are going to create digital wallets for our inhabitants and we are going to give them bitcoin directly from the performance of MiamiCoin.”

The wallets would be set up with a third-party vendor, he said.

Suárez himself laid out the key questions that would have to be answered before the city government can distribute cryptocurrencies as dividends.

“Are they going to be the taxpayers? Are they going to be the ones who vote in the city? ”Suárez asked during the interview with CoinDesk. “Is it going to be the people who have an address in the city?”

In a later statement, Suarez said the return would come from the pool of funds that the city has earned through the virtual “mining” process that MiamiCoin supporters have carried out. Through that mining, the city has made more than $ 21 million.

MiamiCoin is denominated in another cryptocurrency called Stacks (STX). When Stacks are temporarily “locked”, or stacked, there is a 10% bitcoin dividend “reward” for securing the Stacks network. That’s what Suarez is referring to.

Suarez said he would stack a portion of the city’s MiamiCoin revenue; If the city stacked roughly half of the current amount, the 10% return would translate to roughly $ 1 million in bitcoin – for now, about $ 2 in bitcoin per resident – but potentially a few thousand dollars in a decade.

The statement said that bitcoin “could be distributed in an orderly and time-consuming process.”

Suárez, fresh from a re-election campaign in which he landed a second term with millions of dollars in donations from tech investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, seemed to savor the fact that he is now immersed in a “crypto rivalry” with the elected mayor. from New York, Eric Adams.

“Mayor-elect Adams is still too shy to talk about crypto on our show, but I appreciate that he comes in and has a smart discussion about it,” CoinDesk Spotlight host Christine Lee told Suarez.

“I think he will follow us soon,” Suarez said, smiling. “I think he will follow us on other things soon.”

The promotion of technology and cryptocurrencies in Miami has boosted Suárez’s national profile for almost a year. By focusing on cryptocurrencies, a topic that likely has an audience that stretches far beyond Miami’s borders, it cultivated a national audience in some financial outlets and on Twitter, even as a scandal rocked City Hall and led to the controversial impeachment. of the former city police chief.

On Thursday it was unclear whether city officials who would oversee the distribution of the cryptocurrency to Miamians knew of Suarez’s proclamation. Questions to the staff of the municipal manager, Art Noriega, were referred to the mayor’s office.

Previous public conversations about the city government’s relationship with the cryptocurrency suggest that many rough edges will have to be ironed out. The commissioners who agreed to accept the funds linked to MiamiCoin emphasized that they had no problem accepting dollars as a “gift” derived from the profits from mining MiamiCoin. City staff noted that the city would not have any cryptocurrency as part of that deal.

Suarez has also promoted the idea of ​​allowing city employees – including himself – to be paid in bitcoin, a concept that raised internal concerns, according to a Vice News report. Public records showed concerns about the risks and liabilities related to linking a public employee’s compensation to a cryptocurrency that has fluctuating value.

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