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Billionaire Bill Ackman Urges New York Governor and Mayor to Remove Crypto Barriers

New York City elected bitcoin enthusiast Eric Adam as its Mayor in November last year. And, he famously received his first paycheck in BTC. But that doesn’t settle the debate if New York is indeed a bitcoin-friendly state.

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman urged on Wednesday Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to remove barriers in the way of New York becoming a crypto center of innovation.

Bill Ackman’s tweet came as a reply to a complaint suggesting that the person was not able to open an account with a crypto exchange for being a New York resident. Then, he threatened he might move to Connecticut for this reason.

@NYCMayor @GovKathyHochul lets fix this right away. We can’t lose any more New Yorkers. NY is on its way to becoming a crypto center of innovation. Let’s remove barriers, create opportunities for growth and innovation, and help our state and city! https://t.co/H9tsG4OO9W

— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) February 9, 2022

Founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, Ackman was recently in the news for taking a stake in streaming giant Netflix worth $1.1 billion.

Buzz of Making New York a Bitcoin Hub

In recent months, particularly after the election of Adams as the Mayor of NYC, there has been renewed optimism that the Big Apple may emerge as a digital asset hub. Cryptocurrency data platform Chainalysis leased new office space in Manhattan, planning to “tap into the city’s deep talent pool for our next phase of growth.”

“The new mayor’s support for the industry strengthens my conviction that New York is the best place for Chainalysis’s headquarters,” Reuters quoted Michael Gronager, chief executive and co-founder of Chainalysis, in a report.

During his campaign, Adams talked about introducing a digital wallet for public funds after he became the NYC mayor. “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry…Just wait!” he said in November.

Climate Agenda Clashing With Crypto Mining

But the cheerful notes of making New York the center of the cryptocurrency industry don’t seem to have a strong backing of the policymakers. In particular, the mining industry doesn’t enjoy the blessings of Governor Hochul or NYC Mayor Adams.

“I support cryptocurrency, not crypto mining,” Adams said at a joint session of state legislators in Albany early this month. However, green activists were not satisfied and criticized the mayor “for not taking a more forceful stand.”

Governor Hochul is also under pressure from environmentalists who wish she takes a more stringent stance against mining.

“We are hopeful that the Governor’s encouraging words on climate will be backed up by strong action, starting with a rejection of the Greenidge fracked gas power plant currently powering a bitcoin mining operation in the Finger Lakes and a commitment to stop the ludicrous practice of firing up dirty, retired power plants to mine cryptocurrency,” said a note in Food & Water Watch.

Featured Image Courtesy of CNBC

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