The mayor-president of the Louisiana city of Lafayette, Joel Robideaux, has proposed an ambitious plan that would see the city develop a government-issued cryptocurrency. Mr. Robideaux suggested the launching the cryptocurrency through an initial coin offering (ICO).
Lafayette Mayor Advocates Government-Issued Cryptocurrency
Mr. Robideaux articulated a number of benefits that cryptocurrency could reap for the city, including positioning Lafayette as a technological hub, diversifying the local economy, and streamlining the delivery and financing of government services. Mr. Robideaux stated that a state-issued cryptocurrency would facilitate the “develop[ing] solutions targeting government inefficiencies, and, more importantly, alternatives for financing public infrastructure.”
“It’s not just a bunch of global libertarians that want unregulated, untraceable and secure digital currency transactions,” Robideaux emphasized, “It’s the recognition of global stakeholders that the world of banking, finance and payment systems is forever changed, that the world of healthcare, government and possibly every other industry is about to be disrupted.”
Poor Economic Performance for Lafayette
With Lafayette in desperate need of economic stimulus, many are describing Robideaux’s proposal as a desperate bid to inflate the city’s coffers. Among proposed measures, Mr. Robideaux pledged to reinvest profits generated through an ICO for the currency to “build a living lab of blockchain researchers and developers.”
Lafayette’s is not the only municipal government in the United States to recently propose the development of local state-backed cryptocurrency, with the city of Berkeley announcing its intention to launch a cryptocurrency through ICO in a bid to fund affordable housing projects in February.
To raise funds, Berkeley’s council plans to sell “crypto enabled micro-bonds,” offering investors modest returns that are tax exempt. Berkeley City Council Member, Ben Bartlett, stated: “This is not your typical ICO, but rather an initial community offering. We decide to explore new forms of finance in response to the cuts from DC and corporate tax cuts that took away our ability to fund affordable housing.”
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