Most Influential 2021: Mayor Francis X. Suarez

“One thing that has stood out to me, in particular, has been my realization of the lack of faith in fiat currencies,” the Miami mayor said.

AccessTimeIconDec 9, 2021 at 9:44 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:26 p.m. UTC
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Mayor Francis Suarez wants to turn Miami into a bitcoin hub – and by some measures he’s succeeding. Due to its low taxes, laid back rhythm and Suarez’s open embrace of crypto, “Magic City” was a clear winner in the exodus of tech workers from major tech centers in California and New York during the coronavirus pandemic. Several crypto firms relocated permanently.

Suarez’s open call to crypto is more than rhetoric: he took a paycheck in bitcoin and is working on ways to accept taxes and pay municipal employees in the currency. He also announced MiamiCoin, built on the Bitcoin adjacent blockchain, Stacks, which could someday pay a recurring BTC stimulus to Miami citizens.

This post is part of CoinDesk’s “Most Influential 2021″ series.

What was the biggest lesson from 2021?

I’ve learned how extensive the network of crypto stakeholders truly is and I’ve learned about cryptocurrency’s democratizing impact on the future of wealth for every American. One thing that has stood out to me, in particular, has been my realization of the lack of faith in fiat currencies that are being manipulated by people who are making decisions that impact the most vulnerable in our country.

What was your biggest success?

We’ve had many big successes this year, from having our first employee to be paid in bitcoin to being the first mayor in the U.S. to accept their paycheck in bitcoin – but I think the biggest success of all has been staking a percentage of our MiamiCoin rewards to begin the process of giving a dividend yield to our residents. This initiative will not only empower all of our residents with the knowledge and understanding of bitcoin, but also, in the process, is creating a dynamic where the government is innovating and creating wealth to distribute to its residents.

Name one big plan for crypto in Miami in 2022.

The most fundamental part of our plan for 2022 is expanding the access and ubiquity of crypto and coupling that with educational resources to prepare every Miamian for the inevitable future of our economy.

How is crypto going to change the world by 2030?

I think that crypto and Web 3 have the potential to completely revolutionize the dynamic between consumers and the creative class, particularly people like designers, builders and innovators. We’re going to see people with the resources to be the change they want to see in the world, and they’re going to have a platform unlike ever before to share that vision.

(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)


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