Austin, Texas took a step toward bitcoin adoption Thursday as city councilors greenlit a plan to investigate the feasibility of accepting tax payments via “bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies” in the city of 1 million.
Austin’s powerful City Manager will research the change’s legality, its potential to “benefit” public services, its impact on the economy and the environment and “analysis of the financial stability and security of cryptocurrency,” per a draft of resolution 55. This “fact-finding study” is due on June 16.
Austin’s plan vaults it to the forefront of U.S. cities who view crypto as a potentially lucrative municipal energizer. Mayors in Miami and New York and Jackson, Tenn. have similarly leaned into crypto initiatives over the past year.
“Everyone is looking for innovative solutions to tackle municipal challenges, and this may be an option we look to in Austin,” Mayor Steve Adler tweeted on March 18 after a meeting with 25 mayors.
“My support for this does not” signal whether bitcoin payments are a good thing or a bad thing for the municipality to accept, council member Anna Kitchen said, highlighting this was a proposal “for analysis, not for action.” A number of other council members echoed her narrow support.