Bitcoin Friendly Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Jumps Into Presidential Race

Suarez joins an increasingly crowded field as a longshot candidate for the Republican nomination. The mayor has accepted his salary in bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconJun 15, 2023 at 12:26 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 16, 2023 at 4:34 p.m. UTC
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Bitcoin friendly Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has announced he's running for President.

Suarez announced his candidacy on Twitter on Thursday morning, and filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday.

Suarez, who vowed to make the city a bitcoin hub and has accepted his salary in bitcoin, joins a growing Republican field seeking to unseat President Joe Biden in the 2024 election. He faces an uphill struggle to build national name recognition among several high-profile candidates who have already announced their candidacies, including former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Miami has elected Suarez twice.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Miami – also called "Magic City – drew an exodus of tech workers from Silicon Valley and New York. Several crypto firms relocated there permanently.

Suarez, who touted bitcoin's "democratizing impact on the future of wealth for every American" in a 2021 interview with CoinDesk, has examined ways to accept taxes and pay municipal employees in the currency. He also announced MiamiCoin (MIA), built on the Bitcoin adjacent blockchain, Stacks, which he hoped could someday pay a recurring BTC stimulus to Miami citizens.

By 2022, MIA had shed roughly 95% of its value from an all-time high of around 5 cents eight months earlier, according to data from CoinMarketCap. In March, crypto exchange OKCoin suspended the trading of MIA – and a second city coin, NYCCoin – citing limited liquidity as the reason for the decision.

In a 2022 CoinDesk interview, Suarez said that despite MIA's struggles, he remained a believer in crypto. "People ask me the same thing about bitcoin, the fact that it's lost more than 50% of its value, but that doesn't change my feelings about the fundamental technology," Suarez said.

Edited by James Rubin.

UPDATE (June 15, 12:22 UTC): Added Suarez's tweet.


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James Rubin

James Rubin was CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.

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