Will Austin be the next US crypto hub?

Austin, the capital of the Texas state of the United States, has passed two resolutions focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation, and may become the next cryptocurrency center in the United States.

Innovative cities across the U.S. are racing to become the next hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption. Miami launched its own cryptocurrency, MiamiCoin (MIA), last year to fund infrastructure projects or events in the city. New York City Mayor Eric Adams gets his first salary in BTC and ETH.

Recently, Austin has developed a keen interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Texas wanted to lead the way in crypto innovation about a year ago, when Governor Greg Abbot tweeted that he was a “supporter of crypto law proposals,” but the city of Austin has taken additional steps to ensure city services accept cryptocurrency.

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On March 9, 2022, Austin City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly introduced a resolution directing Austin city administrators to explore possible use cases for cryptocurrencies for the benefit of Austin and its residents. The resolution specifically asks city administrators to study how the city can adopt bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for financial transactions.

Kelly said, “This is more of a feasibility study, we don’t currently have enough information to know if we can accept cryptocurrencies as payment for city services. We need to know more about that before we can make a decision. We need to look at the security information to see if this is feasible or if we can keep the cryptocurrency financially. We don’t know if we can settle it as an asset and the financial stability of the cryptocurrency in general.”

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While questions remain, Kelly mentioned that Austin has always been a forward-thinking and innovative city, noting that many cryptocurrency investors currently live and work in Austin. Kelly added that Austin Mayor Steve Adler was a co-sponsor of her resolution. Given this support, Kelly believes cryptocurrency payments will be a useful alternative, giving individuals the flexibility to pay for certain urban services.

She elaborates: “For example, if someone gets a speeding ticket and doesn’t have a bank account but has cryptocurrency, they can use cryptocurrency as a payment method. Or if they want to use bitcoin to pay their taxes or electricity bills, or Build a park in their name using cryptocurrency.”

This is sure to have a huge impact, as the latest data from Finder.com found that 8% of Texans already own Bitcoin, and adoption in the state could reach 14% by the end of the year. Austin, in particular, could benefit from crypto payments for city services.

All things considered, it’s no surprise that Kelly’s resolution was approved at the Austin City Council meeting on March 24. Now that the resolution has been passed, Kelly explained that the next step for approval will be in mid-June, when Austin city administrators can determine whether cryptocurrencies are really acceptable as a form of payment. This will be based on the city’s research on financial stability, safety, equity and inclusion, and consumer benefit or risk.

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In addition to Kelly’s resolution, Adler’s resolution on blockchain technology was also passed at the Austin Work Conference on March 24, 2022. During the meeting, City Council member Sabino Renteria explained that Austin began exploring the use of blockchain four years ago. He said, “The concept is that if we use blockchain technology, we can give people the ability to own and access all their records…excited about the promise of blockchain.”

While both resolutions were innovative, some members of the Austin City Council expressed concern during the meeting. Councillor Leslie Pool mentioned that her biggest concern with blockchain implementation is its “lack of central authority.”

She added: “It might be tamper-proof, but that’s about it. It’s a digital ledger. So there may be some unique uses to facilitate its use, but at this point, given its relatively new entry Data storage or other digital areas, I’m wary of cities adopting it, and I’d love to hear what our finance office staff or experts have to say about these technologies.”

Regarding the proposed cryptocurrency resolution, Pool added: “I still think cryptocurrencies are too volatile, cryptocurrencies are not regulated, and they are not protected. This really upsets me. Crypto as a payment or investment form, inconsistent with the role of municipalities in protecting community income.”

Concerns aside, Austin residents remain positive about cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation in the city. For example, Jesse Paterson, chair of the ATX DAO Education Committee, said the group helps educated city councillors and residents understand the impact of recently passed resolutions: “Some ATX DAO members expressed our support for these resolutions at town hall, but we remain cautious , because we are still in the early stages of cryptocurrencies. So, it will take time to understand the space.”

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Ryan Harvey, ATX DAO community manager and longtime Austin resident, added that based on the wording of City Councilman Kelly’s crypto resolution and Mayor Adler’s blockchain resolution, it’s clear that these tasks remain fact-finding studies. However, he noted that it was a positive step in the right direction: “New information is always a good thing. But, outside of the survey, both resolutions show that Austin is open to business and encourages innovation, which is too good job.”

At the March 24 City Council meeting, Harvey took a few minutes to share his thoughts with City Council members. He said, “There are organizations in town like the ATX DAO — I’m happy to see the DAO mentioned in the resolution — and that can serve as a reference.”

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In addition to the efforts of the ATX DAO, other Austinites are creating initiatives with encryption and Web3 elements to give back to the community. For example, City Magic is a project that aims to bring the community of Austin together through grants in the form of NFTs.

City Magic founder Raffi Sapire said the program offers $1,000 grants to people in the Austin community who want to create friendly spaces or events for neighbors or civic engagement. “City Magic is designed for civic-minded people and those who care about their community. It also helps build a bridge for people who may not have interacted with tokens before.”

Adler recently showed his support for Sapire and other blockchain-focused Austin entrepreneurs and businesses in a tweet, writing: “Austin is excited to support the promise of bringing together Web3, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Businesses and innovations that come to life.”

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Additionally, Austin may soon launch its own CityCoin, joining Miami and New York City. One CityCoin community member stated that CityCoins’ main goal is to work with the city of Austin to help officials like Mayor Adler and City Councillor Kelly better understand how Austin’s own cryptocurrency can succeed: “Ideally, we would like to An announcement will be made during Consensus 2022 on June 9.”

When asked how CityCoin could be implemented in Austin, Kelly said: “I’m open to the idea, but my financial conclusions on this depend on whether my resolution passes and knowing that the city of Austin as a whole accepts cryptocurrency is feasible.”

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/will-austin-be-the-next-us-crypto-hub/
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