Andrew Yang says he’ll transform NYC into a Bitcoin hub if elected mayor

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Andrew Yang, the Democratic Party’s front runner in the running for New York City’s next mayor, said he will turn New York City into a “hub for BTC and other cryptocurrencies” and label the city the “financial capital of the world.”

The former presidential candidate made a statement today in a tweet that sparked a number of mixed reactions. Some proclaimed this as a campaign maneuver, others as synonymous with political suicide.

The most unified response, however, was to demand that Yang use his powers to end the BitLicense issued by the New York Treasury. Meltem Demirors, CSO of digital assets management company CoinShares, suggested that Yang would have to deal with high government taxes and the Bitlicense in order to make his plan a reality.

Nobody wants to pay the ridiculous taxes of NYC + the tax of the NYDFS bit license

Unless there is a plan to drastically cut the city’s budget, I don’t see how a crypto company would want to operate in an environment with high income, corporate and real estate taxes + sales tax. 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 workers in Bitcoin to encourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the area. Yang brought a similar idea to the market in an interview in September 2019, in which the benefits of a government-issued, digitally-based “social currency” that could be exchanged 1: 1 for the US dollar were described.

Yang is currently the leader in terms of voter popularity and notoriety, according to recent polls in front of Brooklyn City President Eric Adams and City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

In sharp contrast to most of his political counterparts, Yang has voiced support for Bitcoin several times in the two years he has been on the mainstream media radar. His outspoken beliefs have earned him the title of “Best President for Bitcoin” from some members of the cryptocurrency community.

Yang’s Policy Advisor is the front page of askreddit https://t.co/ffjkwnFyLH

– anti-bid campaign (@ bringback38) February 11, 2021

New York has a tumultuous relationship with Bitcoin. The BitLicense launch in 2015 was initially seen as a disaster, potentially stifling fintech innovation by imposing draconian restrictions on the use of cryptocurrencies. By 2020, however, the fruits of regulation paid off with the clarity of regulation under the Bitlicense, which enabled corporate giants like PayPal, Gemini and Coinbase to attract the deep pockets of Wall Street.

In 2019, ahead of his presidential candidacy, Yang argued that Congress lacks the basic knowledge needed to pass effective cryptocurrency laws, and that countries that are ahead of the US in regulating will ultimately “ dictate “will have to follow as soon as 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 shortlist of potential candidates to fill the position of Minister of Commerce under the Biden administration. Yang received just 0.45% of the vote in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential election and was eliminated from the race on February 11, 2020 to support Biden the following month. In January he announced that he would run for Mayor of New York.