Last Updated: 6 June 2022
The mayor of Miami was one of the participants at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He sees his role as an evangelist by teaching other participants about Bitcoin. Furthermore, in this article we look not only at Miami, but also at the US states of New York and North Dakota.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was interviewed by CoinTelegraph about his role at the WEF 2022.
Bitcoin is going to change many lives
He explained that he is trying to make people understand that this technology is going to affect ‘the lives of many’. Suarez also discussed the potential of bitcoin as a global currency. The mayor stressed that Bitcoin has several opportunities to democratise and even disrupt certain regimes. “Bitcoin creates trust and that is what currency systems should be based on,” he said.
The trust he refers to is not about Bitcoin’s price, but that the network reaches consensus on transactions and balances, without any central third party having any control over it. This is not the case with our current fiat system. An example of this is the global SWIFT system.
No SWIFT in five years’ time
There are a few superpowers that can choose to bar entire countries from this international payment network. Iran, for example, no longer has access and it is virtually impossible for Russians to carry out international transactions.
Suarez thinks that SWIFT might cease to exist within five years, sharing the same opinion as Michael Miebach, the CEO of credit card company Mastercard. Therefore, the mayor thinks that it is important for large payment companies such as Mastercard to get involved in cryptocurrency.
We were just talking about bitcoin as a global currency. This is made possible by nodes reaching consensus and miners keeping the network secure. Mining has been criticised from many quarters for being energy intensive and therefore bad for the environment.
New York bans bitcoin mining
A bill has been passed in the state of New York which will prohibit proof-of-work mining for the next two years, provided it relies on non-sustainable energy sources. This is effectively a ban on the mining of bitcoin. The law only needs to be approved or disapproved by Kathy Hochuk, the governor of the state.
We did it! Huge thank you to my partner @SenatorParker and @AndreaSCousins & @CarlHeastie for their climate leadership. Calling on @GovKathyHochul to sign this legislation & ensure we don't bring retired power plants back on line for private gain during the climate crisis. pic.twitter.com/hAUbNmKgdD
— Anna Kelles (@annakelles) June 3, 2022
Environmentalists praise this new law because it should reduce C02 emissions, but the crypto industry thinks New York is shooting itself in the foot.
“If signed, this legislation will have a significant chilling effect on cryptomining in the state and threatens to send hundreds of well-paying jobs to neighbouring states,” said Kristin Smith, of lobbying group the Blockchain Association. “Most importantly, it puts New York in the unique position of being the only state to impose a moratorium at a time when other states are studying the industry or actively welcoming the economic development it creates.”
North Dakota welcomes bitcoin mining
One of those other states is North Dakota. Bitzera is a bitcoin mining company and they have announced, along with local politicians, that their headquarters are moving to North Dakota. This should create 20 full-time jobs. A salient detail is that Bitzero bills itself as a “100% renewable Bitcoin mining company driven by green power source, disruptive innovation and technology.”
The news was announced on June 1 in a joint press release from Bitzero and the governor of North Dakota.
Bitzero’s CEO explained the company’s plans in more detail, saying they plan to build 200 megawatts of data centres in the state over the next two to three years “with a specific goal of meeting the state’s data requirements.”
Up to $500 million will be invested to fund the data centres. In addition, the company will ensure up to $500 million is invested to bring a graphene battery technology project to North Dakota.