In a recent turn of events, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has committed to revising his annual financial disclosure form to accurately reflect his investments in the digital currencies Bitcoin and Ethereum. This decision was prompted by an inquiry from local media outlet the Daily News, which highlighted the absence of these assets in his disclosure form submitted to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board.
Previously, Mayor Adams had publicly announced his intention to convert his initial three paychecks, totaling roughly $30,000 before deductions, into Bitcoin and Ethereum. Despite the notorious instability of the cryptocurrency market, Adams confirmed in November 2022 that he maintained his investments in these digital assets.
However, in the mandatory financial disclosure form, Adams negated holding any securities, including cryptocurrencies, with a market value exceeding $1,000 at the close of 2022. Fabien Levy, Adams’ spokesperson, clarified this discrepancy, explaining that the mayor had misinterpreted the question, assuming it referred solely to securities and not to currencies. Levy affirmed that Adams continues to hold cryptocurrencies and would update his disclosure to indicate the value of these holdings as of the end of 2022.
Reportedly, two of the Mayor’s top aides, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Phil Banks and senior adviser Timothy Pearson, both accurately disclosed their Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings in their annual financial disclosures. Pearson reported a Bitcoin stake worth at least $60,000, constituting less than 5% of his holdings, while Banks disclosed holding a minimum of $6,000 in Bitcoin and $5,000 in Ethereum.
Adams’ advocacy for cryptocurrencies has been a defining feature of his tenure, despite facing criticism from environmental activists and anti-crypto campaigners. His ambition to transform New York City into the nation’s “crypto capital” has elicited a mixed response.
Adams’ pro-crypto stance echoes that of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who reported crypto holdings of $71,321 at the end of 2022. Suarez’s forward-thinking crypto policies have drawn startups, venture firms, and crypto exchanges to Florida, creating a competitive environment for New York City.
Despite the controversy surrounding his financial disclosure, Mayor Adams remains a key player in the cryptocurrency arena. Amidst this backdrop, he has proposed easing state regulations on cryptocurrency trading, reinforcing his commitment to creating a crypto-friendly environment in the city. This move is seen as a direct challenge to Miami’s burgeoning status as a hub for cryptocurrency businesses and enthusiasts.