US Mayor Wants to Give All Residents $1,000 in Bitcoin, With a Catch

August 24, 2021, 10:45 AM AEST (updated August 25, 2021)

The mayor of Cool Valley, a city in the US state of Missouri, is raising funds in order to give all residents US$1,000 in bitcoin. If successful, it would come with one big catch.

Jayson Stewart, Mayor of Cool Valley, Missouri. Source: Bitcoin Magazine

Mayor: Holding Bitcoin ‘Could Transform Town’

In a KSDK News interview, Mayor Jayson Stewart outlined his plan to provide all 1,500 residents with up to US$1,000 in bitcoin, suggesting that holding bitcoin could materially transform the town in years to come. In describing how he saw Cool Valley and its residents becoming “wealthier and wealthier”, he noted:

I have friends whose lives have been completely changed, like going from working a regular nine-to-five job to being worth over 80 million dollars in a matter of a few years.

Jayson Stewart, Mayor of Cool Valley

When asked as to how the project would be funded, the mayor said he had supportive donors who had agreed to match any funds that he personally was able to raise.

Get Bitcoin Into the Hands of Those Who Need It Most

One of Stewart’s concerns is that residents would immediately sell their bitcoin and then later, when it was trading much higher, regret it. To prevent this from happening, he was considering the idea of a vesting schedule where residents might not be able to get full access to their bitcoin for a period of five years.

We’re working on ideas like that because that’s my number one concern. If someone just sells their bitcoin to pay their car note, and then when bitcoin is sitting at like $500,000 all these years later, they’re going to really regret that.

Jayson Stewart, Mayor of Cool Valley

As part of the mayor’s plan, he stressed that residents would be given a crash course in cryptocurrency so they could securely store their own bitcoin.

Not Quite the First Free BTC Handout

While the mayor’s plans are undoubtedly progressive and would constitute a first in the US, it isn’t the first time the idea has been floated.

As reported by Crypto News Australia earlier this year, shortly after El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender, the government announced a program whereby it would give US$30 in bitcoin to each of its 6.5 million citizens in exchange for downloading the government wallet.

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