Yellen’s criticism of Bitcoin dismissed by Miami Mayor

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Miami and Mayor Francis Suarez have worked over the last few weeks and months to position the city as the country’s leading crypto-hub. “We want to be one of the most crypto-forward and technological cities in the country,” Suarez said in a recent interview, with comments coming back from reports that Miami was considering putting 1% of its treasury reserves in Bitcoin.

In fact, a few weeks ago, the city official also claimed that Miami was looking at crypto-regulations in the state of Wyoming and Wisconsin, among others, to take a step towards enabling crypto-payments.

Mayor Suarez is in the news again today after responding to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s remarks about Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Speaking to the media at the recent NYT DealBook Conference, Yellen claimed that Bitcoin was a “extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions.” In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury also raised serious questions about the use of Bitcoin for illicit finance and its energy consumption.

However, Yellen’s remarks did not come as a surprise to the Mayor of Miami.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that a Treasury secretary would find a decentralized potential currency to be hostile to a currency that they control.”

According to Suarez,

“For people who invest in Bitcoin, the allure is precisely that: It’s not backed by a central government. So it’s not manipulatable by the central government.”

During the interview, Suarez also raised questions about the risk associated with the world’s largest cryptocurrency. When asked about investing in an asset class that has long been known to be volatile, the Mayor noted that Bitcoin is an asset class that is still under study, and not something that Miami is jumping right into. “Bitcoin is worth studying and worth looking at,” he said.

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While Mayor Suarez’s buzzing comments on Bitcoin are not surprising, it is worth noting that his most recent comments were a direct response to statements made by the US Secretary of the Treasury, a development that highlights the gulf between local officials and the country’s largest financial decision-makers.

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