Mayor-elect Eric Adams believes cryptocurrencies and underlying blockchain technologies should be taught in schools, ramping up his embrace of the rapidly growing sector before he takes office.
“When I talked about blockchain and bitcoins, young people on street stopped and asked me, ‘What is that?’” Adams said on CNN Sunday.
When asked if he could explain bitcoin, he laughed and said that’s a challenge for experts, as well.
Bitcoin, Adams explained, is a “new way of paying for goods and services throughout the entire globe.”
“And that’s what we must do — open our schools to teach the technology and teach this new way of thinking.”
Adams did not specify whether at what level — college, high school or lower — he believes the technology should be taught.
Asked also if the Democrat will encourage businesses in the Big Apple to accept bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, he said, “We are going to look at it, and we are going to tread carefully. We are going to get it right.”
Since winning the mayoral election by a landslide, Adams has been vocal about embracing cryptocurrency and positioning New York City as a capital of the burgeoning sector.
Last week, the mayor-elect announced he would take his first three paychecks as mayor in Bitcoin, one-upping the mayor of Miami who had announced earlier that he would take one paycheck in Bitcoin.
However, some have questioned his commitment to the sector, saying that it’s a gamble that might not pay off.
Jason Furman, a Harvard professor and a former member on the Council of Economic Advisors under the Obama Administration, criticized Adams’ plan, calling it “bad economic strategy for NYC.”
“It also seems like a conflict of interest,” Furman tweeted. “Like a mayor announcing, ‘I’m buying a lot of Amazon stock and then going to put in places policies to benefit Amazon.”
Responding to that accusation on CNN Sunday, Adams said he respects Furman’s opinion but noted that he’s only using his personal money to support bitcoin.
“He has his analysis, Adams said of Furman’s tweet. “I have my analysis that I want to make sure that this city becomes the center of innovation no matter what that innovation is.”