Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has promised to turn Miami into a hub for crypto innovation and technology companies.
From virus tweets and highway signs to seducers of tech businesses in cities like San Francisco to YouTube Cafecito talks with influencers and celebrities, the mayor’s tactics are getting a lot of attention, but the hype is final. There is a question as to whether it will benefit the 470,000 inhabitants of Miami. To recover from a pandemic.
Suarez told the city today: There is only one clear reason behind my push to attract technology to Miami. It’s my resident.
The mayor said that in a rapidly evolving modern economy, cities need to be prepared for potential shocks, and attracting high-paying, high-quality jobs is the best way to diversify and make cities more resilient. I think this is the method.
“This Miami movement is not about bringing in very wealthy people,” he added. “It brings innovative and productive classes from all over the country and around the world that people have taken for granted by local governments.
Suarez quoted companies such as Spotify, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and Boston Private who have already decided to call Miami their home base. With some entrepreneurs and investors relocating, SoftBank recently announced plans to invest US $ 100 million in startups in the city.
The mayor exchanged tweets with Elon Musk and met with Boring Company executives about the potential of the Miami tunnel.
And in addition to trying to attract Bitcoin companies to the city, Suarez highlighted the idea of paying city employees and investing the city’s finances in cryptocurrencies. City officials voted carefully to study the proposal.
One of the challenges for the mayor is to ensure that residents and existing businesses are not marginalized or pushed out by the large influx of technology. Cities such as San Francisco and Seattle are experiencing this directly, so growing with Bitcoin doesn’t necessarily seem to be the most user-friendly starting point.
According to a recent Harris poll, more than one in ten adults in the United States has never heard of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Six out of ten people who heard of them said they had little or no understanding of how they worked, and 43% questioned their legitimacy as a payment method.
Mayor Suarez said: The easiest and cheapest way to teach people about Bitcoin and more is to make Bitcoin more culturally popular, starting with accessibility. By making Bitcoin an option for billing and compensation, we tend to spur conversations and people naturally learn what it is.
He added: The impetus for attracting technology to the city of Miami has nothing to do with imposing novelties on everyone, but it has to do with expanding residents’ financial freedom options, whether they want to adopt Bitcoin or not. there is. ..
There are concerns not only about the connection with the residents, but also about the amount of energy consumed by Bitcoin mining and the impact on the environment.
In January 2020, Miami joined the C40 Cities Climate Action Network and announced its goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions across the city by 2050. Regarding how the Bitcoin boom is in line with Miami’s environmental goals, Suarez said: Dirty as the origin of that energy.
If you are using coal-derived energy to power your city, how can you expect Bitcoin mining to be clean and ethical? Miami offers a unique opportunity not only to bring some of the mining market share back to the United States, but also where much of its electricity comes from nuclear power plants.
Nuclear power does not emit emissions directly, but some people do not classify it as clean energy due to waste issues as well as safety and cost concerns. Miami is also working on expanding other renewable energies such as solar.
As cities become technology hubs, skills can become an obstacle, increasing the need for data, software engineering, and analytical talent.
The massive influx of tech companies coming to Miami reveals the fact that they have the infrastructure and talent pool needed to support the growing Miami ecosystem, Suarez said. As I’ve heard directly from the CEO himself, without that infrastructure, the entire company wouldn’t have been able to move here.
But he added that building on this was a priority.
As Miami continues to grow, and as our business continues to grow, so does our technological infrastructure, he said, and we need to take a multifaceted approach to this conversation. We need to invest in and strengthen educational institutions as well as universities. This includes vocational training programs and skill-up schemes.
Efforts to attract large investment firms will also be the focus of facilitating the creation and business development of start-ups.
And he says this is definitely where we play a bigger role as a government, asking businesses in advance what it takes to make Miami attractive, and the city has an incentive program. He added that he was looking for it.
Suarez has also appointed an innovation advisor who will reside as a concierge for a high-tech company founded in Miami and as a venture capitalist.
Suarez commented that this should be the status quo, not a one-off attempt.
Not your traditional government
George Burciaga, managing partner of Ignite Cities, a consultancy working with Miami, said Suarez’s approach may not seem traditional to the government, but it was well thought out to improve and grow the city. He said it was part of a strategic plan.
He added: If you don’t do anything, you just talk about what it is. When you take action, you are in a position to begin to make cultural changes from a technical point of view, and the training that accompanies it begins to change the environment.
Ignite supported Miami with an initiative to provide assistance to the people in need through prepaid cards. We are also working on the development of public-private partnerships and the search for ways to provide broadband for local governments to eliminate the digital divide.
It’s still unclear if Mayor Suarez’s high octane approach is more than a headline, but other mayors are watching carefully.
In June, Suarez was elected Second Vice President of the United States Conference of Mayors. After the end of his term, he will serve as First Vice President and then President.
He states: The United States Conference of Mayors gives me the opportunity to take my team and the work I have done in Miami to the national level.
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