Andrew Yang has plans for New York City that cryptocurrency users anywhere would find appealing.
Andrew Yang, the Democratic Party front-runner in the race to be New York’s next mayor said he would transform New York City into “a hub for BTC and other cryptocurrencies” noting the city to be “the world’s financial capital.”
The former presidential candidate made the comment in a tweet earlier today which drew a flurry of mixed reactions, with some proclaiming it to be a campaign-selling maneuver and others equating it to political suicide.
The most unifying reaction, however, was the demand that Yang use his powers, if elected, to end the BitLicense, enacted by the New York Department of Financial Services. Meltem Demirors, CSO of digital assets management company CoinShares, suggested Yang would need to deal with bo high state taxes and the Bitlicense to make his plan a reality.
no one wants to pay NYC’s absurd taxes + the tax of the NYDFS bitlicense
unless there’s a plan to cut the city budget drastically, i don’t see how any crypto company wants to operate in an environment with high income, corporate, and real estate taxes + sales tax on top https://t.co/f7VGB7fyh2
— Meltem Demirors (@Melt_Dem) February 11, 2021
In a recent interview with Forbes, Miami mayor Francis Suarez discussed the possibility of paying city employees in Bitcoin to encourage cryptocurrency adoption in the area. Yang actually floated a similar idea in a Sept. 2019 interview, describing the benefits of a government-issued, digitally-based “social currency” which could be exchanged 1:1 with the U.S. dollar.
Yang is currently is leading the Democratic field in popularity and name recognition among voters according to recent polling that saw him streets ahead of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
In sharp contrast to most of his political peers, Yang has vocalized his support for Bitcoin several times in the two years he has been on the mainstream media’s radar. His outspoken beliefs have earned him the title of “Best President for Bitcoin” from some in the cryptocurrency community.
yang’s policy advisor is the front page of askreddit https://t.co/ffjkwnFyLH
— anti-biden aktion (@bringback38) February 11, 2021
New York has a tumultuous relationship with Bitcoin. The introduction of the BitLicense in 2015 was initially regarded as something of a disaster, potentially stifling the innovation of fintech by imposing draconian restrictions on cryptocurrency use. By 2020, however, the fruits of regulation were paying off with the regulatory clarity under the Bitlicense enabling corporate giants like PayPal, Gemini and Coinbase to attract the deep pockets of Wall Street.
In 2019, during the lead up to his presidential run, Yang argued that congress lacks the basic knowledge required to enact effective cryptocurrency legislation, and that countries which are ahead of the U.S. in regulation will eventually “(dictate) the rules that we’ll need to follow once we catch up.”
Andrew, I love you, but even New York can only fit so much speculative grift https://t.co/WinZnqV7ST
— bantha (@_goodactually_) February 11, 2021
Yang was reportedly on the short list of potential nominees to fill the Secretary of Commerce position under the Biden administration. Receiving just 0.45% of the vote in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary, Yang dropped out of the race on Feb. 11 2020, endorsing Biden the following month. In January he announced he was running for Mayor of New York.
Sessions devoted to “resetting digital currencies” are scheduled at this week’s Davos Agenda.
The World Economic Forum’s upcoming Davos Agenda will feature two separate sessions on cryptocurrency, offering another compelling sign that digital assets have permeated mainstream consciousness.
The sessions, titled Resetting Digital Currencies, will be held on Monday and Thursday. The first session will feature five public speakers, including Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union.
Thursday’s group features four speakers, including Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a senior minister for the government of Singapore, and Zhu Min, chairman of the Beijing-based National Institute of Financial Research.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the long-term shift from cash,” reads the prospectus for both sessions. “Meanwhile, central bank digital currencies are emerging, potentially transforming how people use money worldwide.”
“What policies, practices and partnerships are needed to leverage the opportunities posed by the rise of digital currencies?”
Davos Agenda is a five-day summit featuring some of the world’s leading figures in finance and government. The cryptocurrency series falls under the summit’s “Fairer Economies” theme. Other themes include “Tech for Good,” “How to Save the Planet” and “Healthy Futures.”
The World Economic Forum is devoting more resources to understanding blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The Geneva-based organization has even created a cryptocurrency working group, which only last month published its inaugural review focusing on the various use cases for digital assets “beyond price and speculation.”
The Forum’s research has cited blockchain technology as a key driver of “sustainable digital finance.” Blockchain and smart contract capability, the Forum’s researchers argue, can unlock “hidden values of legacy digital systems.”
Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are one area of research the Forum has delved into over the past 18 months. In Jan 2020, the Forum announced it had developed a framework to help banks “evaluate, design and potentially deploy CBDC.” The framework was developed in conjunction with over 40 central banks, financial institutions and academic researchers.