Austin Mayor Embraces Web3 Technology and Crypto Payments

Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler 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 equality, diversity, accessibility and inclusion” in the technology ecosystem. To that end, May Adler commissioned the city manager to explore how the city can use Web3 and blockchain in 20 areas, from smart contracts, supply chain management and insurance to art, media, fundraising and identity verification.

“The city manager should ensure that the city helps create an environment within city government and in the community at large that supports the creation and development of new technologies, including but not limited to blockchain and other Web3-related technologies, protocols and applications.”

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

Under this initiative, the city manager must find ways to allow “the adoption of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as payment for city taxes, fees and fines” as the first set of policies to watch.

The success of the two initiatives will be based on the effect that new applications have on the daily lives of Austin residents. The proposals will be voted on in the city council on March 24.

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

Austin is competing 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 citywide coin projects through City Coin on the Stacks layer-1 blockchain, while Austin’s own program is still under development.

Related: City of Lugano accepts Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA tokens as ‘de facto’ legal tender

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