Miami wants to become crypto’s financial capital. New York’s response? Bring it on

Miami wants to become crypto’s financial capital. New York’s response? Bring it on


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Lynne Sladky/AP ; Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Lynne Sladky/AP; Patrick Smith/Getty Images

When Blockchain.com was looking for a newfangled home for its U.S. headquarter, it decided to leave New York and move to downtown Miami. “ New York is a bang-up city, ” says Peter Smith, the cryptocurrency company ‘s co-founder and CEO. “ But Miami was an slowly choice for us. ” Miami ‘s vibrant nightlife and ardent weather were surely a draw, but according to Smith, the decision ultimately came down to the city being better aligned with his company ‘s goals. “ It ‘s the gateway to Latin America, ” he says. “ It ‘s on the East Coast time zone. And more importantly, it ‘s probably the most excite city in the world about crypto right now. ” Cryptocurrencies are seen by many as the future of finance, and Miami is aggressively angling to become the global ‘s crypto capital – in a direct menace to New York ‘s status as the state ‘s fiscal hub, threatening New York ‘s authority in finance. Smith credits Mayor Francis Suarez with raising the city ‘s profile. During his foremost term, Suarez has gone all in on Bitcoin and blockchain, the technology that underpins it .

nowadays, Miami has its own cryptocurrency, called MiamiCoin, and last year, it hosted one of the world ‘s largest digital currency conferences. “ Crypto is fabulously important to the future of the city, and to how we are positioning ourselves right nowadays, ” Suarez told NPR in a holocene consultation. “ We very have created the epicenter for crypto. ”

Welcome to Miami

Suarez has perfected the lurch he gives to investors and executives, like Smith. First, he mentions Miami ‘s beaches, cultural offerings, and professional sports teams. then, he gets to the real deal. “ There is a cost of living derived function, which is about two-to-one right now, ” Suarez says. “ It ‘s twice arsenic expensive to live in New York as it is in Miami. ” According to the mayor, the city has reduced its actual estate taxes “ to the second lowest level since the 1960s, ” and it has more room for raw development than New York. Suarez besides proudly points out that credit ratings means S & P Global Ratings recently upgraded some of its position on some of Miami ‘s bond ratings .

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

His strategy seems to be paying off. Cryptocurrency companies FTX US, eToro and Bit Digital have announced plans to expand in Miami, and MoonPay and Orca Capital have set up patronize there. And Miami is tied attracting more traditional fiscal firms. During the pandemic, Citadel Securities moved workers to South Florida, and the individual fairness firm Apollo Global Management is besides opening a newly office. “ We moved about $ 1.2 trillion deserving of assets under management to Miami in the last 16 months, ” Suarez says.

New York: The city that never sleeps?

Miami ‘s success worries New York City ‘s mayor-elect, Eric Adams, who fears “ the city that never sleeps ” is sleeping on crypto. “ NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and early aggressive, advanced industries ! ” Eric Adams tweeted on Election Day. “ just delay ! ” When Miami ‘s mayor promised to take his adjacent paycheck in bitcoin, Adams doubled down. Or tripled toss off. “ In New York we always go large, so I ‘m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor, ” he proclaimed. That caused a small stimulate and generated some headlines, but hours subsequently, it became pass New York City ca n’t pay employees in anything but dollars. At least not right now. ( Adams hopes to change the city ‘s payroll policy, but in the mean time, a spokesman for the mayor-elect says Adams will convert his give into bitcoin himself. ) Tiffany Smith, a New York-based partner at the police tauten WilmerHale, who represents crypto companies, says the city has its work cut out for it given that it must deal with state regulations seen as unfavorable by some in the industry. “ New York had regulation that was unfavorable, or seen as unfavorable, to the crypto diligence, ” Smith says. “ And that caused a distribute of companies to go outside New York. ” It was, Smith says, one of the beginning states to come out with a license government. state taxes are another obstacle, and one Adams ca n’t do much about. Unlike Florida, New York has a state income tax .

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Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

But, New York City besides has a set going for it, Smith says. It is home to a booming technical school kernel and many world-renowned universities, including New York University, Columbia, and Cornell Tech. And she says crypto companies recognize there is an opportunity to recruit top talent from banks and other fiscal firms headquartered there. According to Smith, New York has all the ingredients, but “ it ‘s a count of putting it together and selling and in truth reaching out to entrepreneurs and investors. ”

Bring it on

Adams is banking on the fact New York City is, well, New York City. Crypto entrepreneur Patrick Stanley welcomes the rival between the two cities that want to become “ crypto capitals. ” He is partially of a unleash corporate called CityCoins that created MiamiCoin. Stanley argues the competition is a reaction to how attitudes have changed during the pandemic. “ People who are working in information-based fields are choosing cities the means they choose products, ” he says, adding they are looking for leaders who are “ technical progressives. ”

so far, Adams, who declined NPR ‘s request for an interview, has n’t put ahead any concrete proposals. But he has floated adding crypto to the course of study in New York City Public Schools, and he says that, if the city were to embrace crypto, it would lead to higher-paying jobs. Adams will become New York ‘s hundred-and-tenth mayor on Jan. 1. In the interim, Suarez has some advice for him. “ Hang on besotted, ” he says. “ There ‘s a fortune of things coming. And heed, there ‘s no pity in being number two. ”

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