Jayson Stewart, the mayor of Cool Valley, Missouri, is raising money to give each of its roughly 1,500 residents $1,000 worth of Bitcoin.
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Given the town's population of around 1,500, the Bitcoin giveaway would cost about $1.5 million, but the mayor thinks it could be worth a lot more in the future.
“Look, it's digital gold. I would like to see every single household in my city receive some level of Bitcoin, whether it be $500 or $1,000," said Stewart.
Stewart even said Bitcoin may be worth as much as $500,000 one day and that his plan is to create a vesting period for the free Bitcoin so that the residents cannot sell immediately.
“We're putting in place like a vesting schedule for Bitcoin. The idea is that maybe you don't touch it for five years before you really get full access to it. We're working on ideas like that because that's my number one concern. Someone just sells their bitcoin to pay their car note. And then when Bitcoin is sitting at like $500,000 all these years later, they're going to really regret that,” said Stewart.
The St. Louis news channel, 5 On Your Side, asked a number of residents how they felt about the Mayor's new initiative. Many were unsurprisingly positive about being given free money.
A mail carrier in the town, Ramona Nickels, said that her daughter thinks it's the next big thing and that people have bad habits with cash.
“My daughter says she thinks it's the next big thing. The digital currency. With cash, people have bad habits and they buy things they shouldn't be buying. But with Bitcoin, maybe you can give it to your kids. My daughter is going to college next year. I could give [the Bitcoin] to her,” said Nickels.
Another resident, Cornelius Webb, said, “Putting money in my pocket! Sounds pretty good to me.”
Stewart said that he has seen people become extremely wealthy in short periods of time because of cryptocurrency and that much of the money will be donated by Bitcoin investors.
“I have friends whose lives have been completely changed, like going from working a regular nine to five job to being worth over 80 million dollars in a matter of a few years," said Stewart.
“I have some very supportive donors who have agreed to match any money that I raise up to several millions of dollars. I'm trying to get a few government funds as well to go along with that. Or potentially some of the relief money that comes in from the Covid relief."
The plan is still in the works and there are no details on how the mayor intends to distribute the Bitcoin or enforce a vesting period.