Soon-to-be Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, has declared he will be paid in Bitcoin.
The 61-year-old Brooklyn native, who will assume office as the city’s 110th mayor on January 1, has demanded his first three paychecks will be entirely made up of the flagship cryptocurrency.
The former police captain, and advocate of digital assets, made the announcement today as he hinted at policies that would reflect New York’s growing reputation as a cryptocurrency hub.
“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first three paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor,” he said.
“NYC is going to be the centre of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”
His announcement comes days after Francis Suarez – Mayor of Miami – negotiated to have his salary paid in Bitcoin.
Adams’ journey to the office of mayor carries with it a remarkable backstory.
Born into poverty, his mother worked double shifts to provide food for the family of six children in their rodent-infested tenement. His father, a butcher, was an alcoholic.
As a child, Adams was often sent to school with a bag of clothing in case the family were evicted from their home while he was in class.
He was drawn into gang culture by the time he was 14, often being drafted in to hold money for local hustlers.
He also ended up running errands for a local dancer and prostitute called Micki, who had been housebound through injury. One day, after Micki refused to pay for groceries and work they had done, Adams and one of his brothers stole her TV.
Arrested for criminal trespassing, the pair were then beaten up in a cell by NYPD officers until a black officer intervened and stopped the beating.
He was sent to a juvenile detention centre before being sentenced to probation.
During this time, he reflected on the actions of the black police officer, with a swelling admiration and dreams of one day being in the NYPD.
He was urged to pursue a career in law enforcement by a local pastor who suggested that, by joining the police, he could aid in reforming police culture from within.
It was this motivation, he says, that set him on a path towards service and politics.