Missouri mayor wants to give $1,000 of Bitcoin to residents

A Missouri mayor plans to give the residents of his small St. Louis-area town up to $1,000 worth of cryptocurrency with the aim of helping people accumulate wealth and learn about the alternative money.

Cool Valley Mayor Jayson Stewart, elected in 2020, told Bitcoin Magazine this week he considers the currency a “new way of thinking about humanity in the future.” He said the project, started through fundraising, will be able to offer the alternative money to each of his town’s roughly 1,500 households.

“Bitcoin is fundamentally American. It is the most American thing. Our government is built on freedom and personal liberty, and rights and self-sovereignty, and all of the things that Bitcoin really is,” the small town mayor told the magazine.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are digitally stored and transferred in a decentralized system online. They may be used to buy some goods and services and are publicly traded. And they are largely unregulated.

During an interview last month with St. Louis TV station KSDK, the mayor pointed to the payments to residents as an investment opportunity that could blossom into high returns for those who hold on to it. He also said adding those resources to his residents’ pocketbooks could help to address larger issues of poverty like housing and food insecurities.

“I feel that the best way to do those things is to get Bitcoin in the hands of the people who can use it the most,” the mayor said.

Related stories from Kansas City Star