Miami will advance a plan to pay city workers in bitcoin, Mayor Francis Suarez told Bloomberg on Tuesday, expanding on his push to make the Florida city a major hub for digital assets.
“We’re going for a request for proposal in October to allow our employees to get paid in bitcoin, to allow our residents to pay for fees in bitcoin and even taxes potentially in bitcoin if the county allows it,” Suarez said in an interview with the business channel.
A formal solicitation would come after the city commissioners in February backed his resolution to direct the city manager to procure a vendor to offer employees the ability to receive a percentage of their salary in bitcoin.
At the time, bitcoin traded close to $48,000, then hit an all-time high of $64,804.72 in April, fell below $30,000 in July, and recently reclaimed the $55,000 mark.
Despite the price volatility, Suarez also wants the state of Florida to allow Miami to hold bitcoin on its balance sheet. Statutes at the state and federal levels currently don’t allow cryptocurrencies to be owned by municipalities.
“It’s a major priority for me because I want us to differentiate ourselves as the crypto capital of the United States or of the world,” Suarez told Bloomberg Tuesday.
Suarez’s comments came after the August launch of MiamiCoin by CityCoins Inc., a nonprofit that creates cryptocurrencies for municipalities. People who mine CityCoins on software with their personal computers earn a percentage of the cryptocurrency they created, with 30% of a users’ reward going toward a select city.
MiamiCoin sent about $7.1 million to Miami in August, according to the Washington Post. Miami’s city commissioners agreed this month to accept the donations.