Joel Robideaux, the mayor-president of the Louisiana city and parish of Lafayette, urged local residents on Thursday to consider launching an initial coin offering (ICO).
Lafayette parish is in dire financial straits, officials say. A presentation given by the town in March stressed that property tax revenues are insufficient and that a fund used to finance operations is running dry. The measures put forward to address the situation included raising taxes, eliminating the parks department and annexing unincorporated land.
According to local reports, Robideaux favors a less conventional solution: create a cryptocurrency and sell it.
He said Thursday that the parish should launch its own crypto, distribute it through an ICO, and use the proceeds to "build a living lab of blockchain researchers and developers," the Acadiana Advocate reports.
The mayor-president did not explain what function this cryptocurrency would serve besides raising funds. He said the goal was to "develop solutions targeting government inefficiencies, and, more importantly, alternatives for financing public infrastructure."
Other municipalities have toyed with the idea in the past. The city of Berkeley, California, proposed creating a cryptocurrency earlier this year, describing the tokens as "crypto enabled microbonds."
Similarly to Lafayette, Berkeley's impetus is a funding crunch. The predominantly Democratic city has seen federal money for housing programs decrease under the Republican Trump administration. One Berkeley official presented the ICO in explicitly political terms, saying: "the resistance requires a token."
Robideaux, a Republican, tried to distance himself from any kind of ideology in his recent speech. Cryptocurrency, he said, is "not just a bunch of global libertarians that want unregulated, untraceable and secure digital currency transactions."
He went on to say:
"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."
Empty piggy bank image via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
US Government Grants $800K to Blockchain Researchers
The U.S. government will help fund a distributed ledger platform being developed by researchers at the University of California-San Diego.
Subhashini Sivagnanam, a researcher and software architect
Senior BitConnect Promotor Arrested by Indian Authorities
A promoter of the controversial cryptocurrency platform BitConnect was arrested on August 19, according to a local news outlet in India.
Former BitConnect India head Divyesh Darji was arrested at I
Softbank, Baidu Lead $3 Million Funding for Ex-Googler's Crypto Startup
A team led by a former Google staffer is taking aim at the online advertising giant.
Called Atlas Protocol, the startup believes that the data accumulating on blockchains today can be used to bette
Crypto Exchanges Join Winklevoss Backed Self-Regulatory Group
A group of cryptocurrency exchanges has joined up with Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to launch a new industry-focused self-regulatory organization (SRO).
First proposed in March, the
Bakkt CEO: Crypto Trading Platform Won't Support Margin Trading
Two weeks after the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) introduced Bakkt, a new digital assets platform, the latter's CEO has set out to explain what the service will offer consumers.
Bakkt chief execu
Blockchain Firm to Raise $24 Billion for Electric Bus Upgrades in China
Blockchain and AI technology company Seven Stars Cloud Group has scored a major deal to help raise $24 billion to fund large-scale electric bus upgrades for China's biggest full-service operator.
SEC Faces Thursday Deadline for ProShares Bitcoin ETF Decision
Less than a month after delaying a decision on a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is poised to approve or disapprove another pair of proposed
Blockchain Enters 'Trough of Disillusionment' on Gartner's Hype Scale
Interest in blockchain technology is waning, research firm Gartner said in its latest "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" report.
Gartner included blockchain, along with four other emerging tech