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Eric Adams: ‘Crypto and blockchain are here to stay’ in NYC

Mayor of New York City Eric Adams discussed crypto regulation, financial literacy in schools, and the future of recordkeeping in his closing keynote interview during an event on Wednesday.

“Crypto and blockchain are [the] next chapters in the future, crypto and blockchain are here to stay, we can’t let this opportunity pass us by,” said Adams in a virtual Q&A with Financial Times associate editor Jonathan Guthrie.

When asked about regulation, and whether crypto should be regulated by the SEC, Adams discussed cooperating with lawmakers and industry insiders to bridge the traditional financial sector with this emerging area. The goal, he said, is to move “this important new entity” in the right direction.

“The most important thing is to listen to those who are in the industry. Because this is relatively new and sometimes we are fearful when it comes down to new technologies,” said Adams. “It is imperative that we work with the state lawmakers and regulators. I’m really happy to see Governor Hochul is leaning into this industry as we examine what are the bureaucratic issues that we need to look at.”

Adams also discussed the need for financial literacy in schools that includes crypto in the curriculum, something that three state governors also advocated for in an interview with CNBC earlier this month.  

“I’m going to partner with all of the leaders in this industry and start building out school curriculum so we can have young people prepared to fill jobs that will be available [in crypto],” he said.

Adams also discussed plans for more affordable housing opportunities for younger people trying to break into the crypto sector, who may be taking on equity over large salaries to work at crypto startups in the city. The focus, he said, will be on creating spaces like co-op living. 

He also discussed the possibilities of using blockchains for record-keeping of the city’s documents.

“We are dealing with real issues of how… do you have proper documentation? How do you ensure fraudulent deeds are not being used?” he said. “We believe that blockchain brings a real opportunity in the record-keeping department.”