The city of Lafayette, Louisiana, is considering rolling out its own cryptocurrency and launching an initial coin offering (ICO) to raise funds to build blockchain projects and finance public works.
Mayor Joel Robideaux wants to position Lafayette, with its population of 127,626, as a technological hub, and said having its own cryptocurrency could bolster and diversify the cash-strapped city’s struggling economy.
“[We could use the proceeds to] build a living lab of blockchain researchers and developers,” Robideaux said, via the Acadiana Advocate. “Our cultural economy is the low-hanging fruit. It already exists and it can only get bigger.”
Robideaux dismissed concerns that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can be used for money-laundering and tax evasion, saying it has many useful applications.
“It’s not just a bunch of global libertarians that want unregulated, untraceable and secure digital currency transactions. 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.”
Mayor Joel Robideaux did not provide further details about the proposed initial coin offering. It’s unclear how much success Lafayette will have raising money since the city is in dire financial straits, and has been for a while.
Lafayette is apparently taking a cue from the city of Berkeley, California, which plans to sell “crypto-enabled microbonds” to finance affordable-housing projects to help its skyrocketing homelessness problem. Berkeley announced plans to develop its own cryptocurrency in February, 2018.
Meanwhile, tech billionaire Tim Draper — a cryptocurrency bull who has set a $250,000 bitcoin price target for 2022 — said businesses are dumping California due to its sky-high taxes, incompetent government, substandard services, crumbling infrastructure, and terrible school system.
“Everybody wants to leave California,” Draper told CoinTelegraph. “Anybody in business wants to leave California. Because even though the weather’s awesome and their friends are probably here, all of the incentives are to leave.”
“The taxes are higher here, the services are worse, educations worse, the roads are poor. You go to Texas: They have no personal income tax, they have great roads. They have a free government encouraging innovation. You need that.”
Tim Draper also slapped Switzerland, saying it’s losing its status as an ICO haven due to escalating regulations.
“Switzerland had an enormous opportunity and I think they have lost their opportunity,” Draper said. “If you have heavy regulation, you lose your business. Maybe they can bring it back by being more regulatory light. Governments now have to compete for us. We can move, we can go from country to country.”