Miami Mayor’s big crypto push

Key Takeaways

  • Miami Mayor Francis Suarez recently took his paycheck in Bitcoin.
  • Softbank committed to investing $100 million to Miami tech and crypto firms.
  • Yieldstreet is creating 100 well paying jobs and has opened an office in Miami.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is betting big on crypto. He recently took his paycheck 100% in Bitcoin (BTC), launched a Miami-branded coin called MiamiCoin that may one day fund municipal projects or stimulus payments to citizens, and is exploring several different crypto initiatives. These include paying municipal workers in cryptocurrencies and creating vehicles for tax payments in BTC. 

It all started with a tweet. In December 2020, Delian Asparouhov, Silicon Valley venture capitalist, tweeted, “ok guys hear me out, what if we move silicon valley to Miami,” and Mayor Suarez responded, “How can I help?” His response generated more than 2.7 million impressions. He’s since worked tirelessly at establishing Miami as a leading hub for crypto and tech. 

Mayor Suarez has seen significant results. His enthusiasm has won Miami access to a lot of talent—entrepreneurs, engineers, and venture capitalists are flocking to the city en masse. The world’s largest crypto conference took place in Miami, leading crypto exchange FTX bought the naming rights to the NBA stadium, top VC Founders Fund leased a Miami office, and Softbank announced plans to invest $100 million in Miami startups. Crypto is at the very heart of his efforts.

At Yieldstreet, our CEO Michael Weisz recently interviewed Mayor Suarez about innovation, inequality, the value of crypto, and his plans to grow the crypto sector in Miami. Below is a transcript of their conversation, edited for clarity and length. 

Technology ‘the greatest equalizer in history’

Michael Weisz: Mayor Suarez, what are your thoughts on using innovation to help solve income inequality? 

Mayor Suarez: We believe that innovation is the key to success. At Yieldstreet, you are democratizing investment opportunities. I think that is key to bridging the income inequality gap. I think it’s incumbent on our generation to use technology to democratize opportunity for people to escape inequality and create wealth for themselves, their family, and future generations.

Technology is the greatest equalizer in history. It transcends financial issues; it transcends everything. Let’s face it, we’re entering an era where technology becomes more and more important to our lives, whether we like it or not. 

This is not a partisan issue. This is about the future. I’m constantly thinking about what kind of a world our children are going to inherit and the kind of generational opportunities that we can create today that will benefit them tomorrow.

Yieldstreet: When prominent investors like Warren Buffet say poor things about cryptocurrency, what do they not understand, what are they missing? 

Mayor Suarez: I’m not going to criticize anything Warren Buffet has said or done. However, I do think crypto provides a generational opportunity for wealth creation. I think prior generations of investors prefer to invest in businesses requiring physical capital, brick, and mortar, that are valued based on more concrete measures. Crypto is digital, and its value is based on layers of abstraction. 

For Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z, I think crypto is less abstract. My son and my three-year-old daughter take selfies. For them, the digital is very concrete. I’ve noticed that as I explained crypto to mayors across the country, younger mayors are more likely to show enthusiasm than older ones. We are launching an education campaign for mayors about the democratizing power of crypto to help bridge this enthusiasm gap.

Michael Weisz: Your enthusiasm for crypto is certainly critical. For us, it’s one of the reasons that we decided to open an office in Miami. We are excited to provide up to 100 well-paying jobs for the city in the first year. We’re very enthusiastic about the innovation and technology that you’re attracting to the city, in addition to the high quality of life that Miami is famous for.

Mayor Suarez: We’re thrilled about Yieldstreet’s mission of democratizing investment opportunities. I think that’s also what crypto is all about. When it comes to generational issues like income inequality, we want to give everyone in our city an opportunity to be successful. From investor to employee, creating 100 well-paying jobs is something that’s going to create a tremendous amount of prosperity in my city. Thank you.

Learn more about the ways Yieldstreet can help diversify and grow your portfolio

1. CoinDesk, “Most Influential 2021: Mayor Francis X. Suarez,” 12-7-2021

2. The New York Times, “Miami Wants to Be the Hub for Bitcoin, 3-23-2021

3. NYMag, “How Miami Seduced Silicon Valley,” 9-2021

4. Bloomberg, “Softbank to Invest $100 Million in Miami Area companies,” 1-28-2021

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by guests are not necessarily those of YeildStreet and are provided for informational purposes only. Any opinion or estimate contained in this video is made on a general basis and is not to be relied upon by the listener as advice. The listener must make his/her own assessment of the relevance, accuracy, and adequacy of the information contained in this video, and make such independent investigations as he/she may consider necessary or appropriate for the purpose of such assessment.

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