Eric Adams said while campaigning that he would accept his first three paychecks in cryptocurrencies, and on Thursday he announced the first check will be converted to Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Apparently to encourage innovation, Adams’s first paycheck will be converted into cryptocurrencies instead of U.S. dollars.
“New York is the center of the world, and we want it to be the center of cryptocurrency and other financial innovations,” Adams said. “Being on the forefront of such innovation will help us create jobs, improve our economy, and continue to be a magnet for talent from all over the globe.”
Many have compared cryptocurrency to multi-level marketing schemes, and they have criticized its environmental impact as a result of the electricity needed to “mine” the currencies using computers.
The University of Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index estimates the cryptocurrency needs about 16 gigawatts per day. It takes about 110 million LED lights to consume one gigawatt, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
In a 2018 New York Times opinion piece, economist Paul Krugman compared cryptocurrency to the “Tulip Mania” — a Dutch trend in the 1600s that’s considered to be the first speculative bubble recorded.
Crypto-proponents argue that currencies’ decentralization, combined with their promise of privacy and security, makes them preferable to fiat currency.
Last year, 17 states, including New York, passed legislation related to cryptocurrency, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
New York City Chief Technology Officer Matt Fraser, who Adams appointed Wednesday, applauded Adams’ efforts.
“From being the primary means by which we close both the digital and financial divide, technology continues to be the great equalizer,” he said. “This step taken by the mayor provides a leading example of how we can empower people through tech with a more diverse set of options to manage their finances.”