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NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams wants to take first three paychecks in bitcoin

“NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry," Adams tweeted Thursday.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams speaks at celebrates his victory in the mayoral election with supporters in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Nov. 2, 2021.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams celebrates with supporters in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Julius Constantine Motal / NBC News

New York City’s new mayor may not have to go to City Hall to pick up his paycheck.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams said Thursday that he will take his first three paychecks in the cryptocurrency bitcoin, though it's not immediately clear if the city has the ability to pay salaries in bitcoin.

Adams, a Democrat who cruised to victory Tuesday over Republican Curtis Sliwa, made the announcement on Twitter in a response to a question posed by bitcoin enthusiast Anthony Pompliano.

“It is time. Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?” Pompliano asked.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez responded Tuesday by saying that he would take his next paycheck in bitcoin. Adams followed suit on Thursday.

“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in bitcoin when I become mayor,” Adams wrote. “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”

The New York City Office of Payment Administration did not immediately return a request for comment on whether the city is able to issue paychecks in bitcoin.

Unlike his Democratic primary opponent, Andrew Yang, Adams, a former police officer who was elected Brooklyn Borough in 2014, did not make cryptocurrency a part of his campaign for mayor.

But in an interview with Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday, Adams praised Suarez, saying: “He has a MiamiCoin that is doing very well. We’re going to look in the direction to carry that out.”

MiamiCoin is the city’s own cryptocurrency and is meant to provide a dual revenue stream spilt between the city itself and the owner of the coin. It was created in partnership with the group CityCoin.

Adams also spoke about hopes for incorporating cryptocurrency into New York’s economy and creating a talent pipeline for jobs in the field.

El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender in September, but its rollout has hit a series of snags, especially because around half the country does not have internet access.

Still, one month after launch, 12 percent of the nation's consumers have used the cryptocurrency, the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development said.