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NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams urges schools to teach crypto

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Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman and Karina Mitchell discuss comments made by NYC mayor-elect Eric Adams on teaching cryptocurrency in schools.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ZACK GUZMAN: Well, we've got a bit of a crypto competition heating up between two east coast cities. Of course, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has long been trying to establish Miami as the main Bitcoin city here in the US. But now New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams is pushing not only just for New York to come back and challenge Miami for that crypto crown but also saying that he wants to instill crypto teachings in schools. Take a listen to what he had to say.

ERIC ADAMS: Cryptocurrency is a new way of paying for goods and services throughout the entire globe. And that is what we must do, open our schools to teach the technology and teach this new way of thinking when it comes down to paying for goods and services.

ZACK GUZMAN: So Karina, you got a lot of people in the crypto community pretty jazzed about this idea because New York, the state, historically has not been a great place to operate if you are a crypto company. BitLicense, a lot of people have attacked that in terms of restricting and making it costlier for crypto companies and exchanges, custody agents here to operate in the state. So if you've got a mayor out here you're saying we should be teaching it in school, maybe some of those changes could be coming through.

KARINA CONTRERAS: Yeah, absolutely. And he says he wants to make a pipeline for more talent. Obviously, it's one of those high-end paying jobs if you can get into it. So it's good to start early. And he's really putting his money where his mouth is because he said his first three paychecks, he'd like to get them in Bitcoin. So he's really trying to make an effort.

He also said that he would look at whether New York City businesses could start accepting Bitcoin and said he would really look at that quite carefully because it is the wave of the future. It is the way people are going to be making payments in the future. But he wants to get it right, and he wants to build a crypto-friendly city.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, I mean, it's been interesting to see Mayor Suarez down in Miami kind of-- I think a lot of people pointed out that that was a lot of his push, not only crypto. He's been trying to attract a lot of tech entrepreneurs and tech companies down to Miami as well to increase, I suppose, the tax base there and bring high-paying jobs to his jurisdiction.

And when you think about what Eric Adams might be trying to do here too, New York is obviously a bit distinct in terms of the financial giants that it houses. So you got that issue, maybe, to deal with if you are Mayor-elect Adams in trying to look crypto-friendly without ruffling too many feathers on the financial giant side, since he's got banks here to, I guess, appease too as well.

So there's a lot of things up in the air. But it is interesting to see. I don't think a lot of politicians have talked about maybe putting this in schools yet. So that is pretty important.

KARINA CONTRERAS: Exactly. I haven't heard that come up. But you have seen a lot of these banks, investment banks, increasing the size of their crypto desks because so many money managers want to be involved. There's a fear of missing out. So it is a wave of the future. Even someone like Jamie Dimon says, I don't love it. I don't necessarily believe in it. But a lot of my clients are asking for it. So there is a need to sort of get on board with it.

But as you say regulation, is such an issue. And then Gary Gensler just said recently at an Aspen Security forum in August, frankly, at this time, it's more like the Wild West. But then congressmen on both sides of the aisle say they're glad that Gensler is starting to talk about it. But they still need to see much more regulation.

And who, in fact, is the one who should be the arbiter of that? Is the SEC the right place? There's also the CFTC. Rustin Benham is the incoming chairman of that. And he says that maybe that group should have some sort of say about regulation as well.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah. And obviously, if you've got Eric Adams talking about doing this in schools and people learning the dark arts, dare I call them, if that's the way that the SEC wants to look at it, you're going to have an interesting kind of back and forth here in terms of whether or not we're teaching our kids to be criminals, depending on the way that the law wants to look at crypto. Certainly not the take I would have there. But interesting to see Eric Adams stepping up and not just one-upping, two-upping, but three-upping with the first three paychecks in Bitcoin. We'll see how that all plays out.