With over 20 trillion dollars in debt, many American cities aren’t getting the proper funding that they need. Cities need to keep investing in infrastructure and public services, but problem is, there’s very little funding for that. As cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, creative cities are looking to use crypto to raise funds.
Cities using cryptocurrencies is a major step for the market. Not only does it show that governments will be supportive of cryptocurrencies, but it also shows a huge “use-case” of cryptocurrencies. Many critics of crypto will say that crypto has no use, but these innovative cities show otherwise.
Today, we will be looking at two major case studies of cities looking to use cryptocurrencies: Lewisville, and Berkeley.
Lewisville, Texas is struggling with an inadequate police force. They have only one sworn police officer, per 637 residents. This is a huge problem, but the city isn’t able to tackle it without the proper funding.
That’s where Winston Edmonston, a four-time mayoral candidate for the city of Lewisville, comes in. He is proposing to use a so-called “Blue Coin.” His plan states that the public is able to purchase “Blue Coin” from the municipality, and then use these coins to purchase goods and services from local businesses.
Furthermore, Lewisville residents are able to purchase Blue Coin as municipal bonds, where they can invest anywhere from a few hundred to thousands in local projects. Residents will have their bonds paid back, and they will be making a huge difference in the community.
Edmonston’s idea has gotten a lot of support in Lewisville. Businesses are keen to be “backing the blue,” as Edmonston would say. Residents are happy that the city will be able to resolve its lack of funds issue, and will definitely chip in to help.
“I’ve already spoken with a number of business owners, like Jason McDermott of Hat Tricks, and they’ve all expressed interest in Backing the Blue by accepting Blue Coin. Citizens could also encourage businesses to get on board.” -Winston Edmonston, mayoral candidate for Lewisville
In Berkeley, they have less of a budget problem, but they’re using cryptocurrencies to create affordable housing. After the Trump administration slashed the budget for affordable housing and created regulations that decrease affordable housing, residents in Berkeley were outraged. There were already more than 1,000 homeless people on the streets of Berkeley, and median rent is already over $3,000.
What happens when the federal budget gets slashed? “We do what we always do: We get creative,” said Ben Bartlett, a city counsel member, “We make something from nothing.”
Ben Bartlett and Jesse Arreguin, the mayor of Berkeley, are proposing to issue a cryptocurrency. Berkeley’s cryptocurrency will essentially act like municipal bonds for affordable housing. But instead of traditional bonds, these are more accessible for the public to buy. Cryptocurrencies are clearly better alternatives than traditional bonds because everyone can get involved, no matter how much they are investing.
Berkeley hopes to create a better, easier to access platform to encourage more people to get involved. Furthermore, Berkeley will create a public ledger that states what all the money is being used for.