New York’s Incoming Mayor Wants to Be Paid in Bitcoin (At Least Temporarily)

New York’s Incoming Mayor Wants to Be Paid in Bitcoin (At Least Temporarily)
Eric Adams speaks at the Mayor Elect Eric Adams Celebration Party at Zero Bond on November 2, 2021 in New York City. (Photo: Eugene Gologursky, Getty Images)

Eric Adams wants to be paid in bitcoin, according to a new tweet from the incoming New York mayor. But there’s one little catch: Adams says he wants just his first three paychecks in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor,” Adams tweeted on Thursday.

“NYC is going to be the centre of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!” Adams continued.

Why only his first three paychecks? That part isn’t clear. But if we had to guess, it’s because trading bitcoin is a highly volatile activity with a price that can swing wildly from day to day. For example, the price of bitcoin this morning is $US62,079 (A$83,958), yet bitcoin had a price of $US64,066 (A$86,646) just a couple of days ago. And those huge price swings are precisely why crypto makes a pretty shitty currency.

Adams isn’t the only mayor of a large city staking his claim in the world of cryptocurrencies. The Republican mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, said on Tuesday he’s planning to take his next paycheck in bitcoin. But you’ll notice Suarez isn’t swearing off fiat money entirely. Guys like Adams and Suarez can afford to take one or three paychecks in crypto since they’re not living paycheck to paycheck.

How will it work to get paid in bitcoin? That part isn’t completely clear yet. Since most payroll departments in the U.S. are only set up to pay people in American dollars, someone from the city would presumably need to go buy bitcoin on a service like Coinbase or Binance before transferring it to Adams. And the exact time they bought the bitcoin would be crucial, since the price fluctuates not just day to day, but minute to minute.

Adams, a Democrat and former cop, won the mayoral election in New York on Tuesday in a landslide, beating his Republican challenger Curtis Sliwa with 66.5% of the vote compared to Sliwa’s 28.8%, according to the New York Times.