The city of Philadelphia’s chief innovation officer, Mark Wheeler, announced an initiative on Monday to bring blockchain technology to city government. The project has invited people working in the blockchain and smart contract space to contact staff working on the project to see how crypto technology could be useful within municipal government. Wheeler tweeted that he was inspired by the blockchain-forward efforts of Miami, where Mayor Francis Suarez has touted city-specific crypto tokens as a potential replacement for taxes and has opted to receive his next paycheck in Bitcoin (BTC).
The city’s website features a background information section about crypto that includes Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper, Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum white paper, a 21-minute introductory video from Andreessen Horowitz and a link to the Web3 Foundation website. There isn’t a set timeline for how long the exploratory phase of the gambit will last. In an interview with StateScoop, Wheeler said, “I’m trying to get a very good sense of the use cases, and why there could be a value proposition here, and that’s what the website is all about. We’re ready to talk.”
The City of Brotherly Love is only the latest municipal government to enter the crypto sphere. Monday’s launch comes on the heels of newly elected New York City Mayor Eric Adam’s announcement that he hopes crypto literacy will be taught in public schools. Following Suarez’s lead, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor plans to accept her next paycheck in Bitcoin as well. Meanwhile, Jackson, Tennessee announced back in April that it would investigate the adoption of crypto payments.