Francis Suarez reveals the value of his cryptocurrency investment

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez poses with the Miami Bull as it was unveiled April 6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center during the Bitcoin 2022 conference.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez poses with the Miami Bull as it was unveiled April 6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center during the Bitcoin 2022 conference.

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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez held more than $10,000 in cryptocurrencies at the end of 2021, according to financial disclosure documents.

The records offer a first look at the personal digital currency held by a mayor who is marketing his city as an emerging crypto hub, showing that in 2021 real estate investment still far outstripped his stake in cryptocurrency.

According to the disclosure documents Suarez submitted on June 28, he had a cryptocurrency account of $10,761.49 as of December 31, 2021. Suarez also listed two investment properties in Miami with a total value of approximately $700,000.

The crypto account is with Strike, a mobile payment app that uses Bitcoin to send and receive money and convert crypto to US dollars.

Disclosure documents required by law provide a timely snapshot of the mayor’s crypto assets. Each summer, elected officials are required to disclose assets and liabilities in excess of $5,000 for the previous tax year.

The documents do not show the mayor’s current investment in cryptocurrency, which is likely to change from day to day given crypto volatility. The Miami Herald asked Suarez to detail its current assets. He did not immediately return a request for comment.

Suarez’s introduction of the cryptocurrency made it popular with enthusiasts in the tech industry. It supports a statewide law that would allow the use of cryptocurrencies to grow and has forced Miami to examine ways to run municipal business with cryptocurrency, including helping municipal workers convert their salaries into crypto.

The mayor has promoted a pro-crypto agenda beyond Miami city limits. When he was sworn in as chairman of the US Conference of Mayors earlier this year, he vowed to ask other mayors to sign a “mayor crypto contract” that would encourage the use of cryptocurrencies.

Suarez is also a target of scrutiny among skeptics who view crypto as an unregulated financial system that can facilitate illegal activities and a system that consumes energy resources due to the computing power required to mine digital assets. It has been criticized for its support of MiamiCoin, a cryptocurrency created by an outside entity that has donated more than $5 million to the city. The coin’s value has dropped nearly 98% since its high point shortly after its launch in the fall of 2021.

Bitcoin’s value has fallen sharply recently as the cryptocurrency enters a bear market. In May, Suarez told reporters while in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum that he still converts his city salary to Bitcoin, even as its value drops. The city noted that her salary was not her only income.

Suarez, 44, has two other jobs besides being mayor. He is an attorney at litigation firm Quinn Emanuel and is also a senior operating partner of Coral Gables private equity firm DaGrosa Capital Partners, where he helps lead the firm’s acquisition initiatives and local and international investment platform.

Suarez’s financial statements list the $1.4 million Coconut Grove home and two investment properties and approximately $840,000 in two bank accounts. He listed his net worth at approximately $1.3 million, with approximately $1.6 million in debt.

This story was originally published 6 July 2022 16:48.

Joey Flechas covers government and public affairs in the city of Miami for the Herald, from votes at City Hall to neighborhood news. Sunshine State won an award for revealing a Miami Beach political candidate’s ties to an illegal campaign fundraiser. He graduated from the University of Florida.

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