The Miami-Dade Cryptocurrency Task Force, created in April last year to explore the eligibility of counties accepting cryptocurrencies, submitted a report and recommended allowing indirect payments to those counties in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through licensed third-party payment processors. .
Existing regulations prohibit the county from directly accepting cryptocurrency as payment. As a result, if a county wants to make options available to pay taxes, fees and fines, the recommendation is to “get a currency payment processor that can accept virtual currency on behalf of the county and provide a fair market for the county. Value cryptocurrency in legal tenders.
The report also recommends:
■ Provide educational opportunities for all county residents to learn about blockchain technology and digital assets, including opportunities and risks.
■ Provide county employees with the option to receive up to a certain percentage of compensation in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
■ Create a permanent advisory board to assist the district commission on district issues related to blockchain technology.
“The county is very enthusiastic about cryptocurrency, not just the politicians and the people who make up the county’s bureaucratic system, but the county’s constituents,” said Samir Patel, a task force member and innovation and technology advocate at Holland & Knight’s Miami office.
“We have hundreds of district constituents who are in the block space coming in and giving ideas, small businesses, volunteer education programs, and this is the best thing to be part of the task force,” he said.
Districts can pay employee wages only in U.S. legal tenders under existing regulations. But if they want to be given that option, they also need to get a virtual currency processor that will convert the county’s legal tender into virtual currency and send it to employees, the report said.
To get the recommendations, the task force met 16 times with district employees, community members, and vendors to learn about the interests and potential uses of cryptocurrencies.
The legislation was first sponsored by Commissioner Daniella Cohen Higgins. “I created the Cryptocurrency Task Force to explore the feasibility of Miami-Dade County using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology,” he said in a written statement to Miami Today.
“I thank you for the dedication and hard work of the members of the task force in making the report. I am also grateful for the collective priority of education; while there are potential rewards, there are also risks. I want our citizens to be involved, but to know more, ”she wrote.
The group has guiding principles that aim to prepare a 15-page report, including the need for public education opportunities, financial inclusion, transparency, and community support, the document said.
“The Task Force strongly believes that blockchain and cryptocurrency educational opportunities for residents of the county will be beneficial to promoting financial independence and growth of personal wealth,” the 11-member task force wrote, acknowledging that volatility of many digital assets presents. certain risks that need to be understood.
To fully understand the interest in the community, the group surveyed county employees and found that of those who responded, 69% said they had tried to learn about bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, 39% had used or invested in cryptocurrencies, 29% said if they “don’t know everything” about the technology, and 58% say they know little or nothing “or” know enough. “
In addition, 83% indicated that they wanted to “learn more about cryptocurrency,” opening the door to educational initiatives.
“The education of Miami-Dade County constituents is very important and is a key ingredient in making cryptocurrency thrive in the county,” Mr. Patel said.
Thus, the group recommends that the commission select one or more vendors that will provide professional education platforms, educational symposia (virtual and private), printed educational materials, onboarding and education for all district employees using the service, education on benefits and risks . of cryptocurrency, and targeted outreach programs focused on traditionally underserved societies.
“My goal remains the same, creating economic opportunity through the welcome of this industry while simultaneously protecting our citizens,” Commissioner Cohen Higgins told Miami Today. “This report illustrates a lot of work that has been done, but there is still a lot to be done.”
The task force asked for an additional 180 days to explore additional areas and assist in the procurement process.
The report describes additional policy initiatives where blockchain technology can also be used, such as to vote in elections, to maintain records of real estate titles, permits and licenses, and to monitor environmental standards.
Digital autonomous organizations can be used to organize local communities to fund local projects, the report said, and the technology can be used for counties to create or participate in “metaverse” environments.
Task force members wrote they wanted to continue exploring the idea of a county -sponsored conference focused on blockchain “that would be available at no or less cost to residents, study permissibility and potential to provide financial literacy education to county residents in connection with digital assets,” and study approaches for counties to mitigate these potential drawbacks and “ensure that the benefits of innovation flow back to the community at large.”
After looking at what the task force is doing and who has spoken to members, Mr Patel said commissioners should consider blockchain and cryptocurrency to be pillars of a progressive campaign.
“It’s very much something that weaves its way into the fabric of the county, and it can’t be ignored anymore,” he said.
In Miami-Dade County, at least 27 businesses accept cryptocurrencies, all listed on the www.cryptoacptd.com website. These include hotels, restaurants, jewelry, and nightclubs. The last Miami Today check in December 2021 was 20.