(Reuters) -New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams said on Thursday he would take his first three paychecks in bitcoin and signaled his intention to make his city the "center of the cryptocurrency industry" after he takes office in January.
"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 in a Twitter post. "NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!"
The mayor-elect's tweet came in response to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who wrote in a Twitter message of his own that he would take his first paycheck in bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency. Suarez, who won re-election on Tuesday, has been a cryptocurrency champion, setting his sights on building Miami into a hub for cryptocurrency innovation.
Adams, a Democrat, will become the second Black mayor of the United States' most populous city in January after easily defeating Republican Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels civilian safety patrol, in Tuesday's election.
“It shows you that bitcoin is attracting a wide range of interest and you can now include the New York mayor,” Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at FX broker Oandam, said of Adams' announcement.
"But in the end, Eric Adams is not a very influential person for swaying the people that are on the fence to join the cryptoverse," he added.
It was not the first time Adams has raised the prospect of a cryptocurrency competition between the two cities. After winning the Democratic nomination for mayor in June, he delivered a victory speech in which he vowed the city would become "the center of bitcoins" and "the center of all the technology."
"Miami, you had your run," he said.
Working with the nonprofit CityCoins, the Florida city unveiled a cryptocurrency called MiamiCoin in August. CityCoins sends 30% of any MiamiCoin created or "mined" on a consumer's computer to the city. As of September, the program generated $7.1 million for Miami, the Washington Post reported.
Efforts to transform New York into a crypto hub may draw scrutiny from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who recently launched a crackdown on unregistered cryptocurrency companies. Last week James announced her candidacy for New York governor.
Bitcoin, which is highly volatile, was trading around $61,260 by midafternoon on Thursday, down 3% on the day.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago and Michelle Price in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Andrea Ricci and Dan Grebler)