Miami Plans to Give Out Bitcoin in Its Quest for Crypto Utopia

Miami Plans to Give Out Bitcoin in Its Quest for Crypto Utopia
Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Everyone in Miami’s getting free bitcoin, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CoinDesk TV on Thursday. The move, part of the fuzzier overall plan to become “the first Web3.0 city,” entails parsing out yields the city makes from MiamiCoin, which has already generated $US21 (A$29) million for the city.

“We’re going to be the first city in America to give a bitcoin yield as a dividend directly to its residents,” Suarez told CoinDesk TV. “So we’re gonna create digital wallets for its residents, and we’re gonna give them bitcoin directly from the yield of MiamiCoin.” The city will distribute digital wallets compatible with the major cryptocurrency exchanges.

The city introduced MiamiCoin (MIA) in August, in partnership with the nonprofit CityCoins, which provides the protocol (Stacks, STX) that allows residents to mint tokens on their computers. Miners create MiamiCoin by creating smart contracts from Stacks (STX) tokens, which exist on the bitcoin network, and they’re rewarded with MiamiCoin. The more people who get in on MiamiCoin, the more money Miami makes — the city will keep 30% of the yield, while residents keep 70%. (A MiamiCoin is currently worth $US0.02 (A$0.027).)

We know what you’re thinking: No, Suarez said, you can’t just move to Miami to get bitcoin. It’s unclear how Miami citizens who don’t have access to computers or smartphones or documentation of residency will obtain this bitcoin. Details will be sorted later.

This, plus hooking up Miami with private sponsorships from bitcoin operations, will someday eliminate taxes, Suarez hopes, telling CoinDesk TV that Miami’s attracted Blockchain.com and Etoro’s headquarters, the Bitcoin Conference, a sponsorship for “$US200 (A$273) million” to get the naming rights for the county arena (a finite ad space), and XBTO to sponsor jerseys for Miami’s soccer league. Before that, he also plans to accept taxes and pay city employees in bitcoin, which makes absolutely no sense because there’s no way to consistently set a salary with an inherently volatile currency with an ever-fluctuating dollar value.

Suarez seemed not to mind this, arguing that the dollar is manipulated: “When you see inflation at over six per cent, which I think is an underreporting of inflation, and you see the price of Bitcoin surging, it’s clear that people are taking their money out of dollars and putting it in a currency and in a stored value that they feel confident because it’s not driven by people who can manipulate it for their own policy ends.”

HODL.

That detail hasn’t stopped New York City Mayor Eric Adams from declaring, as his first order of business, that he’s making his own city the “centre of the cryptocurrency industry” and taking his first three checks in bitcoin. New York got the clunkier-sounding NYCCoin, which also uses CityCoins, and Adams wants to add cryptocurrency classes to New York’s school curriculum.

Another idea: Tax the rich and redistribute that money — money that they can’t just buy up and tank whenever they dump.