- Miami's Mayor Francis Suarez said Friday he plans take some of his 401(k) retirement savings in bitcoin.
- Suarez, who was speaking at a Real Vision event, already takes his paycheck in bitcoin via the Strike platform.
- Plans to enable Miami residents to pay municipal fees in the cryptocurrency are in progress, he said.
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Miami's mayor, Francis Suarez, is looking to take some of his retirement savings in bitcoin, having already started collecting his wages in the leading cryptocurrency.
Suarez told RealVision on Friday that he is exploring how he can receive part of his 401(k) pot in bitcoin, and that he expects to start making payments to it in the token by next year.
"It's a personal choice. I just think it is a good asset to be invested in," he told Real Vision's managing editor at the financial analysis outlet's TakeOver event.
"Obviously, it's going to appreciate over time. It's one that I believe in," he added.
The Miami city leader, who was recently re-elected as mayor, uses an app called Strike to get his salary in bitcoin. In November, he said 100% of his next paycheck would be in the cryptocurrency.
Suarez has banged the gong for crypto in his push to make Miami a center of digital innovation. It is vying to be a crypto hub with New York, whose mayor Eric Adams pushed for his first three paychecks to be in bitcoin.
The mayor told Real Vision that part of the reason he can receive some of his 401k in bitcoin is because he is allowed to receive outside income.
"I do have private-sector income. So, in fairness, my mayoral salary is not 100% of my income. So it's a part of my income I can do this type of investment with," Suarez said.
In August, his city launched its own digital currency, MiamiCoin, and the mayor has said he hopes the project can fund the city enough to mean residents don't pay taxes. When the crypto coin is bought or mined, 30% of the reward goes to Miami's coffers.
In October, Suarez told Bloomberg he planned to pay Miami's city workers in bitcoin, as well as enable residents to pay municipal fees with it.
"(In regards to) our residents being able to pay fees in bitcoin, we just had an industry day for bitcoin exchanges. And we're in the process of putting out an RFP (request for proposal) on that," he said at the RealVision event.
The Miami mayor also wants the state of Florida to allow Miami to hold bitcoin on its balance sheet, but state and federal statutes don't permit cryptocurrencies to be owned by a town or district.
Suarez was typically bullish on bitcoin at the Friday event, despite its recent slide below $50,000 as it got battered alongside other markets by fears over the Omicron coronavirus variant. The coin stood at $48,864 early Monday, according to CoinGecko data.
"Part of the reason why I think bitcoin has succeeded so well is because people have confidence in it," he said."They have confidence in it because they see that it's an open source and un-manipulatable system, and I think that is the source of its popularity, and why it's done so well."
Bitcoin is up about 160% in the past 12 months, and it is the number one cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of about $923 billion, up from $349 billion a year earlier.