cryptocurrency

Miami Residents Will Get $1 Million in Bitcoin Thanks to a New Crypto Initiative. Here's How It Works

Miami became the first city to launch its own cryptocurrency this past August through CityCoins. The goal is to educate residents about crypto and blockchain while putting the earnings into the community.

What if crypto technology could be used to help fund projects in major cities while earning residents money? CityCoins is a nonprofit initiative trying to do just that. MiamiCoin, a new type of cryptocurrency, first launched in South Florida in August and has earned over $21 million for the city so far.

Anyone in the world can buy MiamiCoin and hold them or sell them. About 30% of the revenues created in this crypto community go directly to the city. Miami is choosing to pull 10% of this new money and give it back to its residents in the form of bitcoins, making it the first city in history to do so, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told NBCLX. He expects the yield will be worth around $1 million.

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One CityCoins advocate and investor known online as @AltMomTrades called the amount of money that MiamiCoin has earned "life-changing."

"They’re going to use it to teach blockchain to members of Miami. They’re going to use it to educate kids in school about technology changes ... like an Internet strategy except we’re talking about blockchain strategy now," she said. "Using those funds, we’ve created a whole new marketplace. We’ve created a whole new type of lifestyle, and we have something to fund that new type of lifestyle."

The project's proponents hope that by introducing more people to crypto technology and letting them see its positive impact in their city, it will grow not only the city coin's value but the general public’s knowledge of crypto and blockchain.

The project is also designed to avoid negative financial impacts due to fluctuations in bitcoin values or public funding for essential programs. It’s why the funds taken in from this project won’t be used for basic city essentials or to pay taxes. Instead the goal is to grow a large base of educated citizens in blockchain technologies and prepare them for a tech-based economic future.

The CityCoins community gets to vote which cities it heads to next. CityCoins' second city, New York, launched in November, and Austin, Texas, is right around the corner.

Watch NBCLX feature "We Built This City" to learn more about CityCoins.