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Miami’s ‘Bitcoin Mayor’ Launches 2024 Presidential Bid

BY Langston Thomas

June 15, 2023

Francis X. Suarez, the two-term mayor of Miami and noted advocate for Bitcoin and blockchain technology, has officially filed paperwork to run for the U.S. presidency in 2024. He will be running as a Republican candidate, according to documents released by the U.S. Federal Election Commission on June 14.

Affectionately dubbed the “Bitcoin Mayor,” Suarez’s entry into the presidential race highlights the increasing political relevance of cryptocurrency in American politics. Suarez, a Cuban American and a former president of the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors, will seemingly be the sole Latino GOP candidate and is undoubtedly charting a path toward the White House that leans heavily on his reputation as a tech-forward leader.

A focus on crypto

In recent years, Suarez has actively advocated for Miami to become a global hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. He has personally invested in Bitcoin, gave the welcome speech for nft now’s The Gateway 2022 event in downtown Miami, and has even gone so far as to accept his governmental salary in the digital asset. 

Suarez’s interest in crypto extends to policy initiatives, too, with him exploring opportunities to accept taxes and pay municipal employees via digital currency. Toward the end of 2021, he announced “MiamiCoin,” a program that allowed Miami residents to purchase crypto through a digital wallet and receive a Bitcoin dividend.

Notably, his commitment to supporting cryptocurrency aligns him with other presidential hopefuls like, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who all also seek to appeal to the Bitcoin vote. Suarez will be vying for the Republican nomination alongside high-profile candidates, including DeSantis and former President Donald Trump.

Suarez’s presidential bid announcement

In a video released alongside his announcement to run, Suarez declared, “My dad taught me that you get to choose your battles, and I am choosing the biggest one of my life. I’m going to run for president. I’m going to run for your children and mine.”

Despite its late entry, his campaign has already begun to generate significant buzz. Suarez is scheduled to speak at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on June 15, where he is expected to delve deeper into his presidential plans.

While Suarez’s pro-tech and pro-crypto stance differentiates him in the packed Republican field, he still faces the challenge of building national name recognition and meeting the strict polling and donor thresholds to qualify for the first Republican primary debate in August.

As the first major Hispanic candidate to enter the Republican race, Suarez’s campaign may also resonate with Florida’s increasing Hispanic voter base. Suarez has previously opined that the GOP success in Miami “can be replicated nationally if Republicans, and all elected officials, learn the lessons we learned about building an inclusive conservative majority in Miami.”

Whether his tech-forward policies and innovative approaches to governance will win over national voters remains to be seen. However, his campaign announcement surely underscores the recent controversial regulatory actions carried out by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and how cryptocurrency has evolved from a niche interest into a legitimate political platform.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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