Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler has embraced the discovery of what blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies can bring to his city by proposing two new initiatives.
The first initiative aims to have the fourth largest city in Texas promote the benefits of blockchain technology and “promote fairness, diversity, affordability and inclusion” in the technology ecosystem. To that end, May Adler directed the mayor to explore how the city can use Web3 and blockchain in 20 areas ranging from smart contracts, supply chain management and insurance to arts and media, fundraising and identity verification.
“The Mayor shall ensure that the City promotes an environment within the City Council and in the community at large that supports the creation and development of new technologies, including but not limited to blockchain and other technologies and protocols related to Web3 and Applications.”
Mayor Adler’s second initiative asks the mayor to conduct “fact-finding” on the city’s use of bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency policy. Through these efforts, Mayor Adler appears to want to find ways for Austin residents to legally pay their bills with cryptocurrencies.
As part of this initiative, the mayor should find ways to allow “acceptance of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies such as the payment of taxes, fees, and municipal fines” as the first set of guidelines to consider.
The success of these two initiatives will depend on how the new apps impact the daily lives of Austin residents. The proposals will be considered by the city council on March 24.
The Austin City Council has been considering integrating blockchain technology since at least 2020, when a proposal was made to use smart contracts for the MyPass identity verification protocol.
Austin is in league with Miami, New York, and the state of Colorado in a fast-growing research effort and proposes the implementation of cryptocurrency-related guidelines. Miami and New York have already launched their own citywide coin projects with City Coin on the Stacks level 1 blockchain, while Austin’s own program is still in development.
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Philadelphia has expressed interest in joining the City Coins program, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a Feb. 15 interview that the state will accept cryptocurrencies “for state tax purposes.” Later, cryptocurrencies are expected to be accepted for a wide range of government services.