Austin mayor embraces Web3 tech and crypto payments



Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, has fully embraced the discovery of what blockchain technology and crypto payments can bring to his city by proposing two new initiatives.

The first initiative aims to ensure that Texas’s fourth-largest city promotes the benefits of blockchain technologies and “promotes equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion” in the technological ecosystem. To that end, May Adler directed the City Manager to explore how the city can utilize Web3 and blockchain in 20 fields from smart contracts, supply chain management, and insurance to 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.”

Mayor Adler’s second initiative orders the City Manager to conduct a “fact-finding study” on how the city could adopt Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency-related policies. Through these efforts, Mayor Adler appears to want to find ways for Austin residents to legally pay their bills with crypto.

Under this initiative, the City Manager should find ways to allow “the acceptance of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as payment for municipal taxes, fees, and penalties” as the first set of policies to look into.

The success of the two initiatives will be based on the level of effect new applications have on the everyday lives of Austin residents. The proposals will be voted on by the city’s council on March 24.

Austin’s City Council has been considering blockchain technological integrations since at least 2020 when a proposal was made to use smart contracts for the MyPass identity verification protocol.

Austin is in league with Miami, New York City, and the state of Colorado in rapidly expanding exploration efforts and proposed implementation of policies related to cryptocurrency. Miami and New York have already launched their own city-wide coin projects through City Coin on the Stacks layer-1 blockchain, while Austin’s own program is still in development.

Related: The city of Lugano will accept Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA tokens as ‘de facto’ legal tender

Philadelphia has expressed interest in joining the City Coins program, while Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis said in a Feb. 15 interview that the state will accept crypto for “state tax-related purposes.” He later expects to accept crypto for a wider array of state government services.