Berkeley Set to Be the First City with a Cryptocurrency

Berkeley Set to Be the First City with a Cryptocurrency

The Sanctuary City of Berkeley, which is one of the epicenters of liberal California, is fed up with being too dependent on the federal government. According to the Verge, the city is doing all it can to make sure that when the Trump administration finally stops funding sanctuary cities,  Berkeley would able to sustain itself with its cryptocurrency backed by local government municipal bonds.
Berkeley is making plans to launch its initial coin offering in a bid to reduce its dependence on federal government funding.
The ICO project would sell the City’s cryptocurrency backed by government municipal bonds; a Berkeley city council member, Ben Bartlett, told Business Insider. He said:
“Berkeley is the center of the resistance, and for the resistance to work. it must have a coin.”
Bartlett alongside important Berkeley residents like the Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arreguin and Fintech startups Neighborly as well as the UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab have created a committee that would plan a strategy for the ICO campaign.  Co-founder and COO of Neighborly have said that the project tagged: “initial community offering” could kick off by mid-May 2018 if approved
Harsh Taxation
Bartlett said that it became crucial for the city to create its source of funding after President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax bill into law in December.
The new law makes it hard for contractors to build affordable housing, and Berkeley is already experiencing expensive rents and homelessness.
According to Novogradac & Company  the tax bill would reduce the future supply of affordable rental housing by roughly 235,000 home in ten years time.
“We have a jobs explosion and a super tight housing crunch,” Bartlett noted, adding, “you’re looking at a disaster. We thought we’d pull together the experts and find a way to finance [affordable housing] ourselves.”
The ICO planning community has hinted that the “initial community offering” will be entirely different from the usual initial coin offerings. Security known as municipal bond will back the ICO.
“Unlike most of the ICOs which deliver coins for a future value or service, these coins will represent a real security issued for a specific purpose,” said Jain.
If the Berkeley ICO goes ahead, it is expected that many other sanctuary cities could organize their ICO projects too to establish financial independence from the federal government, Bartlett said. He also reiterated that:
“It’s actually enabling us to fulfill our duty as a government. Our duty is to provide for our people. It’s a violation of that duty to allow people to sleep in the streets.”