Eric Adams: Wages in Bitcoin?
New York City’s mayor Eric Adams took to Twitter last week saying that he would accept his first three wages in Bitcoin. The bond between Bitcoin and newly elected US officials is growing stronger, and that’s likely to hasten the pace at which new cryptocurrency regulatory measures are implemented.
The remarks were interpreted as an attempt to upstage Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who said earlier that he would accept 100% of his salary in Bitcoin. Suarez told a major media outlet that the move would ‘send a message to the world that we are going to be one of the most innovative governments and innovative cities on the planet’.
Adams is apparently hoping to promote the same message in New York City.
Will Crypto Contribute to the Economy?
The mayoral announcements are another win for cryptocurrencies, but they also serve as a reminder that Bitcoin, unlike any other asset class, still operates without any governing body overseeing them. Nor do they have a centralised, regulated exchange where people can go to trade them.
Whether either mayor has any success in dictating to their employers the currency in which they must be paid is yet to be seen, but for big media markets like Miami and Chicago to suggest that cryptocurrencies will be a core component of their city’s economic makeup only adds fuel to Bitcoin’s upward trajectory, and that means the current US administration is feeling more pressure to apply regulatory measures to an environment it’s only now beginning to understand.
Crypto Regulation Steps In
Cryptocurrency regulatory oversight will likely be divvied up among several regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the key players expected to be:
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler - The SEC’s primary role is to protect investors and ensure the markets function in an orderly fashion. Gensler, who has extensive regulatory experience, is expected to make the most meaningful contributions to writing the new cryptocurrency regulatory rulebook. What is perhaps most intriguing about Gensler is his previous role at the storied ‘MIT’, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught a popular course called ‘Blockchain and Money’.
The most revealing of Gensler’s comments came at a recent conference where he compared cryptocurrencies, an asset class that’s been in existence for about 13 years, to a teenager, suggesting that the technology can’t be expected to reach ‘adulthood’ without regulatory oversight to usher the market to a state of maturity, and to stave off scams and criminal activities.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen - Applauded for breaking so many glass ceilings, Janet Yellen is currently serving as the first female Secretary of the Treasury. As the incumbent of one of the most influential positions in American finance, it is within Yellen’s purview to lead the US Government in its oversight of the cryptocurrency market and its brokers. Prior to her role as secretary, Yellen spent several years as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors where she peaked as the chair of the Federal Reserve.
In many forums, Yellen is often excoriated for showing little support for the cryptocurrency market. While Yellen certainly can’t be considered a cheerleader of the digital assets market, I do believe she is genuine in her concern for reeling in the misuse of existing digital currencies, and that’s is something that would further strengthen an already robust cryptocurrency market.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) - Calling Senator Warren the Cruella de Vil of the cryptocurrency universe may be a bit harsh, but the east coast progressive’s recent comments on digital assets most decidedly places her in the ‘sceptics’ column. Earlier this summer, Sen. Warren told CNBC that she’s doesn’t consider Bitcoin a reasonable hedge bet against inflation over the long run, and that’s one of the marquee reasons that some investors use as justification for purchasing Bitcoin, as a hedge against inflation.
The Future for Crypto Wages
Looking ahead, Warren will be directly involved in formulating new regs on crypto in her role as a member of the Senate Banking Committee.
Cryptocurrencies are a technology that will revolutionize financial transactions at every level, and it will be incumbent on governments to come up with the appropriate cryptocurrency regulatory framework. The sooner reasonable regulations are applied, the sooner digital assets can evolve to their next level of usefulness.
Author: Greyson Kelly
Greyson Kelly is a business writer living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He writes extensively on technological trends, cryptocurrency, and ‘cutting edge’ industry topics. He has an MBA in Business and has over a decade of experience in communications and public relations.