Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, has proposed two new initiatives in response to the revelation of what blockchain technology and crypto payments may offer to his community.
The first project is to ensure that Texas’ fourth-largest city promotes blockchain technology’s benefits and “promotes equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion” in the technical environment. May Adler asked the City Manager to look into how the city can use Web3 and blockchain in 20 different areas, including smart contracts, supply chain management, and insurance, as well as arts, media, fundraising, and identity verification.
The City Manager is directed to ensure the City is helping to create an environment within city government and in the community generally that supports the creation and development of new technologies, including without limitation blockchain and other Web3 related technologies, protocols, and applications.”
The second proposal, introduced by Mayor Adler, directs the City Manager to conduct a “fact-finding research” on how the city might adopt Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency-related policies. Mayor Adler appears to want to find ways for Austin residents to legally pay their bills with cryptocurrency through these efforts.
As the first set of regulations to look into under this program, the City Manager should investigate ways to allow “the acceptance of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as payment for municipal taxes, fees, and penalties.”
The impact of innovative applications on the daily lives of Austin citizens will determine the success of the two programs.
The municipal council will vote on the plans on March 24.
Since at least 2020, when a proposal to use smart contracts for the MyPass identity verification protocol was made, Austin’s City Council has been considering blockchain technological integrations.
Austin is joining Miami, New York City, and the state of Colorado in quickly growing cryptocurrency exploration initiatives and planned policy adoption. City Currency on the Stacks layer-1 blockchain has already launched city-wide coin projects in Miami and New York, while Austin’s program is still in the works.
The city of Philadelphia has expressed interest in joining the City Coins initiative, and Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced in a Feb. 15 interview that the state will accept cryptocurrency for “state tax-related activities.” He expects to accept cryptocurrency for a broader range of state government services in the future.
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