The City of Miami's governing commission today passed a resolution that it will look into the possibility of investing government funds into Bitcoin, an idea spearheaded by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who wants to the city to be on the bleeding edge of fintech.
The resolution has two other important goals. One is to allow local government employees to receive some or all of their wages in cryptocurrency. The other is to allow citizens to pay property taxes or city fees using cryptocurrency.
“I think we’re on the cusp of seeing a major titanic shift on this,” Suarez told the city commission, according to Bloomberg, adding, “It’s an industry that’s boisterous, vociferous and growing, and this would send the right signal.”
Suarez has been leading this charge for Bitcoin adoption in recent weeks, having first said he was happy to consider the idea on December 29, 2020. He recently tweeted that Tesla's $1.5 billion investment into Bitcoin was very helpful for making his case.
However, Miami does have one big potential stumbling block when it comes to investing in novel assets. Florida has tight rules on what local governments are allowed to invest in, putting a high priority on the safety of the funds. This may prove to be an issue since, although Bitcoin's price can shoot up in value, its notorious volatility can see sudden downward swings—potentially causing huge losses.
• State legislative priority
• Paying employees in Bitcoin
• Investing City treasury in Bitcoin
We got it done ✅ pic.twitter.com/88laGvVbEG
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) February 12, 2021
The original wording on the proposals including taking direct action, such as letting its employees be paid in Bitcoin. But this was watered down to only state the the commission would analyze the possibility of such ideas. So it won't necessarily result in any of the slated goals.
Alongside his Bitcoin push, Suarez has been trying to position Miami as a technology innovation hub, creating a new team to double down on this focus. He has hired the city's first ever chief technology officer, Saif Ishoof, and his goal is to get more tech companies to settle in Miami.