Jackson, Tennessee, in ‘Prime Position’ to Be a Bitcoin Leader, Says Mayor

The city is exploring paying its employees in bitcoin and adding bitcoin mining to its balance sheet.

Apr 22, 2021 at 10:17 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:45 p.m. UTC

Jackson, Tenn., is the latest U.S. city to embrace the potential of bitcoin, according to its mayor, Scott Conger.

“What does the future of cryptocurrency look like for the city of Jackson? We’re exploring payroll conversions for our employees. Even more exciting, we’re seriously exploring mining bitcoin to add to our balance sheet,” Conger tweeted.

Jackson "is in a prime position to be a leader in bitcoin adoption, especially for cities our size," Conger told CoinDesk via email. "We are currently exploring opportunities for our employees to diversify their deferred compensation by adding a bitcoin conversion option. That will allow our employees to utilize dollar cost averaging to increase and enhance their portfolios.

“We are also looking into the cost of mining bitcoin to add to our balance sheet.."

“Because bitcoin is an appreciating asset, if we can work out the initial capital costs as well as the energy cost I firmly believe it will be a benefit to our finances as well as giving our local energy authority to balance out their energy output by mining in off-peak hours.”

Mayors 'embrace the future' of bitcoin

Conger, who was elected mayor in June 2019 and is the third member of his family to hold the position after his grandfather and great-great-great-grandfather, has been busy in recent weeks tweeting about cryptocurrency and the city’s moves toward adopting it.

On Monday, he added the laser eyes popular among bitcoin enthusiasts to his Twitter profile picture. Earlier this month he announced a blockchain task force for the city and tagged the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, another crypto advocate mayor.

On Wednesday, the mayor tweeted that local governments “will lead the way” in adopting bitcoin and “usher in a new industrial revolution with sustainable economies that will help close the wealth gap.”

Jackson, population nearly 70,000, based on recent U.S. Census data, is following the example of Miami, according to Conger. Mayor Suarez has said he envisions his city becoming a bitcoin mining hub

In an interview with CoinDesk in February, Suarez sees Miami as “a trend‑setting city at the forefront of crypto and blockchain technology,” including enabling municipal employees to receive portions of their salaries in bitcoin and residents to use cryptocurrencies for “payments and fees” – taxes among them. (In 2018, Ohio became the first U.S. state to permit taxes to be paid in bitcoin.)

“I think it’s easy to find the 14,000,604 ways something won’t work,” Conger told CoinDesk, in a seeming reference to Doctor Strange and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Leaders have to find the way it will work. We can hold on to the way it’s always been done, or we can drive innovation. We have to be willing to embrace the future and create a vision on how to get there.”

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