New York

New York’s new mayor-elect, Eric Adams, has asked to be paid for his first three months in the job in Bitcoin, in a bid to promote the city as a centre of crypto-innovation.

Mr Adams, making the request on Twitter, wrote: “NYC is going to be the centre of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovation industries! Just wait!”

His comments seem to be an attempt to top a similar request by the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, who said he’d take his first payment in Bitcoin.

Mr Suarez has been a prominent advocate for cryptocurrency use, and in August helped set up a cryptocurrency which sends 30 per cent of the value of the currency to Miami city, and has reportedly raised $7 million so far.

Mr Adams ran for election on a pro-business platform, and he has signalled that he will attempt to implement a similar scheme in New York.

These claims will likely spark some de ja vu for Maltese readers.

In 2016, after Joseph Muscat’s Government announced a series of initiatives designed to bring leading crypto currencies to Malta, the country was declared Blockchain Island.

What followed is something of a cautionary tale for politicians and jurisdictions embarking on similar initiatives, as the country’s once-promising cryptocurrency sector has now largely been abandoned.

Early this year, after Malta’s greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Steve Tendon, the man who coined the term ‘Blockchain Island’ distanced himself from the sector and the term, announcing “it’s time to set sail for the next island”.

“The Maltese Government disregarded most of the recommendations in the strategy document, and paid only lip service to the development of Blockchain Technologies. Instead, the initiative turned into a wild crypto adventure for the entire country,” he said at the time.

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