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Blockchain.com is looking for a new home for its US headquarters, and the company has decided to leave New York and move to downtown Miami.
“New York is a great city,” says Peter Smith, co-founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency company. “But the choice fell pretty easily on Miami.”
Miami’s vibrant nightlife and warmer weather are certainly inviting, but Smith said the decision ultimately came down to making the city better suited to his company’s goals.
“This is the gateway to Latin America,” he pointed out. “It’s in the East Coast time zone. And more importantly, it’s probably the most energized city in the world when it comes to cryptography right now.”
Cryptocurrencies are viewed by many as the future of finance, and Miami is pushing hard to become the world’s crypto capital – which poses a direct threat to New York’s status as the country’s financial center, threatening New York’s financial dominance.
Today, Miami has its own cryptocurrency called MiamiCoin, and last year hosted one of the world’s largest digital currency conferences.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez spoke at Bitcoin 2021, a cryptocurrency conference held at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center in Miami on June 4. Suarez has been aggressively promoting Miami as the best destination for cryptocurrency companies.
Miami also attracts more traditional financial firms. During the pandemic, Citadel Securities relocated workers to South Florida, and private equity firm Apollo Global Management is also opening a new office.
“Over the past 16 months, we have transferred about $ 1.2 trillion in assets under management to Miami,” says Suarez.
“New York will become the hub of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing innovative industries!” – Eric Adams tweeted on Election Day. “Just wait!”
“In New York, we always make great strides, so I’m going to get my first three bitcoin salaries when I become mayor,” he said.
It caused a little buzz and gave several headlines titles, but a few hours later it became clear that New York couldn’t pay employees anything but dollars. At least not right now.
Crypto entrepreneur Patrick Stanley welcomes the competition between the two cities that want to become “crypto capitals”. It is part of a free collective called Citycoin that created MiamiCoin.
Stanley argues that the rivalry is a reaction to how attitudes have changed during the pandemic.
“People working in information fields choose cities the same way they choose products,” he says, adding that they are looking for leaders who are “technological progressives”.
So far, Adams, who has turned down NPR’s request for an interview, has not put forward any specific proposals. But he has proposed including crypto in the curriculum of New York’s public schools and says that if the city adopted crypto, it would lead to better-paying jobs.
Adams will become the 110th mayor of New York in January. Meanwhile, Suarez has some tips for him.
“Hold on tight,” he says. “There are a lot of interesting things to come. And listen, there is no shame in being number two.”
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