Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CNBC that his city’s doors are open to Chinese bitcoin miners who have recently faced a crackdown from officials in their home country.
“We want to make sure that our city has an opportunity to compete,” Suarez told CNBC. “We’re talking to a lot of companies and just telling them, ‘Hey, we want you to be here.’”
Suarez, a prominent proponent of Bitcoin who has publicly declared that he holds the asset, has been taking deliberate measures to get Miami one step ahead of other American cities by integrating Bitcoin and other disruptive technologies into the city’s operations. As a result, his city can already be considered a hotbed for the most significant cryptocurrency –– Miami’s website hosts the Bitcoin white paper, and the city held the largest Bitcoin conference of all time, Bitcoin 2021, earlier this month. In addition, Miami residents might soon be able to pay taxes with bitcoin.
Suarez is now seeking to bring Bitcoin’s most critical industry to his city. Although he claims that he hasn’t personally received calls from Chinese miners, the mayor wants to leverage Miami’s supply of clean, cheap nuclear energy.
“The fact that we have nuclear power means that it’s very inexpensive power,” the mayor said. “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.”
Nuclear energy is one the state of Florida’s biggest power generators, second only to natural gas, according to CNBC. And the mayor is seeking ways to lower energy costs even more. According to the report, Suarez “is already in talks with Florida Power & Light Company to figure out how to further drive down the price of energy.”
Furthermore, the mayor is reportedly also considering setting up enterprise zones specifically for bitcoin mining. Enterprise activities in such zones would reap the benefits of special tax concessions, infrastructure incentives and scaled-back regulations. The hope is that these enterprise zones will further encourage miners to move to Miami and incentivize the creation of jobs and investment.
Suarez is targeting Chinese miners because of the delicate situation they’re currently facing. Ever since the Chinese State Council released a statement declaring that the government would crackdown on bitcoin mining, the industry has met some challenges.
For instance, Bitcoin miners in the Xinjiang province, which is home to one of the major economic and technological development parks in the country, received a notice last week demanding that their operations be shut down. The Zhundong park houses some of China’s most significant bitcoin mining facilities, all powered by fossil fuel energy.
If such bitcoin mining operations moved to Miami, not only would Bitcoin’s carbon footprint be reduced due to the American city’s nuclear power source, but it would also initiate a step further into a greater decentralization of bitcoin mining. And while Miami’s capacity to house many bitcoin mining farms is not yet proven, Suarez is optimistic and has been taking significant steps for this move to become a reality.