Mayor-President of Lafayette, Louisiana, Joel Robideaux is proposing a digital currency to assist with city improvements. In an address to the city-government parish last Thursday, Robideaux labeled Lafayette a “technological hub,” and suggested that cryptocurrencies present several benefits to help assist the economy and local government services.
“It’s not just a bunch of global libertarians that want unregulated, untraceable and secure digital currency transactions,” Robideaux explained. “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.”
All the Good Crypto Can Do …
The mayor further explained that he feels cryptocurrency has the power to target “government inefficiencies” and present alternatives for financing “public infrastructure.” He further proposed an initial coin offering, suggesting that the proceeds would be used to build a laboratory of blockchain researchers and developers to further explore the technology’s advantages.
Robideaux is primarily seeking to present technological openings and employment for Lafayette given Louisiana’s steep job losses over the last four years due to the 2014 oil crash. He suggests that further developments of Lafayette’s technical prowess could help diversify the city’s economy, and he’s looking for new ways to “quantify returns on investments” in Lafayette’s growth.
“Our cultural economy is the low-hanging fruit,” he stated. “It already exists, and it can only get bigger. It will become the stabilizing force in our budget.”
Is It Already Happening?
Robideaux’s planned future for Lafayette may already becoming a reality with the 2018 release of LUS’s Fiber, which offers a 10-gigabyte internet service, a mobile app presenting real-time information on the city’s expansion, 911 texting capabilities, and a 311 dial-service.
Closing out his presentation, the mayor went into a discussion regarding property taxes, which would ultimately be used to fund projects from roads and bridges, to libraries and juvenile detention centers.
Lafayette is Following a Similar Path
Lafayette is not the only region considering a central digital currency for residential use. Last week, the Reserve Bank of India hinted that it was examining the notion of a national cryptocurrency while rejecting support of local businesses and enterprises that traded or dealt in bitcoin or related altcoins.
In early February, the California city of Berkeley – one of the state’s more politically liberal hubs – announced it was exploring the possibility of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to raise funds for federal housing after President Trump threatened to cut off funding for sanctuary cities that harvested undocumented immigrants.
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Images via Pixabay, The Advocate