The incoming mayor of New York City thinks that schools should add cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to the curriculum, as Eric Adams ups the ante in his plan to transform the city into a crypto hotspot.
In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Eric Adams said that bitcoin is the “new way of paying for goods and services throughout the entire globe” and that schools “must” teach the technology behind it, as well as “this new way of thinking.”
“When I talked about blockchain and bitcoins, young people on the street stopped and asked me, ‘What is that?'” Adams told CNN on Sunday.
When asked whether he could explain bitcoin to viewers in 30 seconds, he said that even experts would have a challenge doing that.
The mayor-elect did not specify whether he was referring to elementary, high school, or tertiary-level education.
When asked whether he would encourage businesses in New York City to accept bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, Adams said that they were “going to look at it” and “tread carefully.”
“We are going to get it right,” continued Adams.
Adams has been talking a big game on crypto since winning office in a landslide vote on Tuesday.
Last week, Adams said that once he took office in January, he would take his first three paychecks in bitcoin. The mayor-elect is also considering launching a New York-specific cryptocurrency to rival the success of MiamiCoin – a plan which has reportedly already been put into motion.
But not everyone is on board with Adams’ plans to go all-in on crypto.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has been pretty tough on crypto so far, recently launching a crackdown on unregistered cryptocurrency companies. A few months before that, James issued a direct warning to the crypto industry as a whole, saying that they should, “Play by the rules or we will shut you down.”
Jason Furman, a former top economic advisor to President Obama, has also expressed concerns about Adams’ crypto ambitions, writing in a tweet that, “Not only is this a bad economic strategy for NYC and a bad investment decision, it also seems like a conflict of interest.”
Furman went on to compare Adams’ bullish talk on crypto to a politician buying a large stake in Amazon stock and subsequently putting in place policies to benefit Amazon.
When asked about Furman’s critique, Adams said that he respected Furman’s opinion but that he was using his personal money.
“I’ve lost thousands of dollars in the stock market during the stock market crash in my retirement fund. Volatility is part of some of the investments that we make,” said Adams.
“I want to make sure that this city becomes the center of innovation no matter what that innovation is, and this is what the human spirit is about: Not being afraid to look at every area of innovation as we move our country and city forward,” continued Adams.