Miami to Explore Paying City Employees in Bitcoin

Miami to Explore Paying City Employees in Bitcoin

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The city of Miami will explore paying municipal employees in Bitcoin. 

On Thursday, city commissioners voted to study the idea on a request from Mayor Francis Suarez, who’s been trying to turn Miami into a Silicon Valley-like tech hub 

According(Opens in a new window) to Suarez, Miami’s city manager will study and then select a technology vendor to enable municipal employees to receive a percentage of their salary in Bitcoin if they so choose. The same vendor will also work to enable local Miami residents to pay city fees and even taxes in the virtual currency. 

However, it’ll be up to Miami’s city commissioners on whether to approve the contract with the tech vendor, and thus officially adopt Bitcoin as a form of payment.

The proposal may sound like a bad idea. Bitcoin’s value has been extremely volatile, and some critics call it a financial bubble. However, if you bought Bitcoin a year ago and held on to it, you may be sitting on a small fortune. The virtual currency is presently worth $47,000 a coin, up from $3,600 12 months ago. 

Although the city commissioners voted 4-1 to study the idea, they also expressed concerns about Bitcoin’s price volatility, and how the virtual currency is often tied to cybercrime.

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However, Suarez said it’s important for Miami to get on board with cryptocurrencies, citing their growing popularity among both investors and the business community. Earlier this week, Tesla announced it was buying $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, and plans on accepting the virtual currency as a form of payment. 

“I think we’re on the cusp of seeing a major tectonic shift on this. If Amazon and Apple accept Bitcoin as a means of paying for their services, essentially overnight then (Bitcoin) has gotten broad acceptance,” Suarez said during Thursday’s city meeting(Opens in a new window).

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