Newly-minted New York City Mayor Eric Adams will be receiving his first paycheck in the form of ethereum and bitcoin on Friday after it is converted via cryptocurrency platform Coinbase, his office announced Thursday.
“New York is the center of the world, and we want it to be the center of cryptocurrency and other financial innovations,” Adams said in a statement. “Being on the forefront of such innovation will help us create jobs, improve our economy, and continue to be a magnet for talent from all over the globe.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was first to respond to a challenge from bitcoin investor and writer Anthony Pompliano, who tweeted, “It is time. Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?”
Suarez replied, “I’m going to take my next paycheck 100% in bitcoin…problem solved!”
Not to be outdone, Adams wrote, “In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor. NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”
In the press release, Adams’ office noted that the U.S. Department of Labor prohibits employees from being paid directly in cryptocurrency, but that anyone paid in U.S. dollars can have the funds converted prior to them hitting their account.
“From being the primary means by which we close both the digital and financial divide, technology continues to be the great equalizer,” New York City chief financial officer Matt Fraser said in a statement. “This step taken by the mayor provides a leading example of how we can empower people through tech with a more diverse set of options to manage their finances.”