Miami Mayor Says Chinese Bitcoin Miners Welcome

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In Brief
  • Mayor Francis Suarez said Bitcoin miners currently under pressure in China are welcome to come to Miami.

  • Suarez says Miami is an ideal place for energy-intensive mining due to cheap energy from nuclear power.

  • Miami also featured the Bitcoin conference earlier this month, and the most expensive real estate transaction using crypto.

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Mayor Francis Suarez has stated that Bitcoin miners currently under pressure in China are welcome to come to Miami.

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As Chinese authorities crackdown on cryptocurrency mining in China, many companies are scrambling to find new locations. As more than half of all bitcoin mining takes place in China, this is naturally leading to a mass exodus. In light of this, Suarez sees a great opportunity for mutual benefitting in having these miners come to Miami.

“We want to make sure that our city has an opportunity to compete,” Suarez said. “We’re talking to a lot of companies and just telling them, ‘Hey, we want you to be here.’” 

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Miami’s cheap nuclear energy

Besides a rig and a good internet connection, what concerns mining companies most is the cost of energy. For instance, some companies are considering opening locations in Argentina, due to the subsidized price of electricity in the country.

Meanwhile, Miami hopes to repatriate some mining migrants through promoting the city’s supply of cheap nuclear energy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average kilowatt per hour of electricity costs $0.10 in Miami, versus the national average of $0.13. Despite these lower rates, Suarez is in talks with Florida Power & Light Company to drive the price down further. “We understand how important this is…miners want to get to a certain kilowatt price per hour. And so we’re working with them on that,” Suarez said. 

The Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, which helps power Miami, is located less than an hour away from Miami City Hall. Nuclear energy is the second-biggest power generator in Florida, after natural gas. 

Miami and crypto

Suarez has been a supporter of cryptocurrencies for some time, but he started making moves on behalf of the city only recently. In February, his resolution to implement bitcoin was officially approved by the City of Miami commission. The approved proposal allowed employees to be paid part of their salary in bitcoin, while residents can use it to pay fees and taxes.

Aside from the Mayor’s proclivities, cryptocurrencies have been featured heavily in Miami recently. Earlier this month, the biggest bitcoin conference to take place so far was held in Miami. Additionally, the most expensive real estate transaction to entirely utilize crypto also took place in Miami recently. 

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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