NYC mayor to be paid in cryptocurrency

(FOX 5 NY Illustration)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams says that his first paycheck will be automatically converted into cryptocurrency. He says his Friday paycheck  will be converted to Ethereum and Bitcoin.

"New York is the center of the world, and we want it to be the center of cryptocurrency and other financial innovations," said Adams in a realease. "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."

The mayor says his salary will automatically be converted into cryptocurrency via Coinbase, a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency.

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"From being the primary means by which we close both the digital and financial divide, technology continues to be the great equalizer, said New York City Chief Technology Officer Matt Fraser. "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."

Last November, Mayor Adams announced he would accept his first three paychecks in cryptocurrency. Due to U.S. Department of Labor regulations, New York City cannot pay employees in cryptocurrency. By using a cryptocurrency exchange, anyone paid in U.S. dollars can have funds converted into cryptocurrency before funds are deposited into their account.

During the Democratic primary campaign, Adams' rival, Andrew Yang, said he would seek to make the city a "hub" for digital currencies such as Bitcoin if he were elected mayor. But he never put forth a detailed plan for what that would look like.

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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use a huge amount of energy due to the computing power required to simply maintain their so-called public ledgers. This has made mining crypto a target of critics who say this level of energy consumption contributes to carbon dioxide emissions and thus to climate change.