- Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Friday that he plans to take part of his 401 (k) retirement savings in bitcoin.
- Suárez, who was speaking at a Real Vision event, already receives his paycheck in bitcoins through the Strike platform.
- Plans to allow Miami residents to pay municipal fees in the cryptocurrency are in progress, he said.
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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is looking to take some of his retirement savings in bitcoin as he began collecting his salary in the major cryptocurrency.
Suarez told RealVision on Friday that he is exploring how he can receive part of his 401 (k) pot in bitcoin, and that he hopes to start making payments in the token by next year.
“It’s a personal choice. I just think it’s a good asset to invest in,” he told Real Vision’s managing editor at the financial analysis outlet’s TakeOver event.
“Obviously, it’s going to appreciate over time. It’s something I believe in.”
The Miami city leader, who was recently re-elected as mayor, uses an app called Strike to get his salary in bitcoins. In November, he said that 100% of his next paycheck would be in crypto.
Suárez has sounded the cryptocurrency gong in his effort to make Miami a hub for digital innovation. It is vying to be a crypto hub with New York, whose Mayor Eric Adams pushed for its first three paychecks to be in bitcoin.
The mayor told Real Vision that part of the reason you can receive part of your 401k in bitcoins is because you are allowed to receive outside income.
“I have income from the private sector. So, to be fair, my salary as mayor is not 100% of my income. So it is a part of my income that I can make this type of investment with,” Suárez said.
In August, his city launched its own digital currency, MiamiCoin, and the mayor has said he hopes the project can fund the city enough that residents don’t pay taxes. When the crypto currency is bought or mined, 30% of the reward goes to the coffers of Miami.
In October, Suarez told Bloomberg that he planned to pay city of Miami workers in bitcoin, as well as allow residents to pay municipal fees with him.
“(In regards to) our residents being able to pay fees in bitcoin, we just had an industry day for bitcoin exchanges. And we are in the process of submitting an RFP (request for proposal) on that,” he said at the RealVision event.
The mayor of Miami also wants the state of Florida to allow Miami to keep bitcoin on its balance sheet, but state and federal statutes do not allow cryptocurrencies to be owned by a city or district.
Suarez was typically bullish on bitcoin in Friday’s event, despite its recent drop below $ 50,000, as it was hit along with other markets by fears over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The coin stood at $ 48,864 early Monday, according to data from CoinGecko.
“Part of the reason I think Bitcoin has been so successful is because people have confidence in it,” he said. “They have confidence in it because they see that it is an open source and non-manipulative system, and I think that is the source of its popularity and why it is done so well.”
Bitcoin is up roughly 160% in the last 12 months, and is the number one cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of roughly $ 923 billion, up from $ 349 billion the year before.