Mayor Adams’s spokesman said Thursday that he will amend his financial disclosure form to include his investments in Bitcoin and Ethereum. This comes after the Daily News brought attention to the fact that the form did not mention his holdings in these two popular cryptocurrencies.
When he took office, Adams said he had converted his first three paychecks – worth approximately $30,000 – into Bitcoin and Ethereum. As recently as November 2022, he stated his money was still in these two forms of cryptocurrency.
When filling out the mandatory form, the mayor answered “no” to a question asking if he held any securities, such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, or cryptocurrencies, with a market value of $1,000 or more. His spokesman explained that Adams did not list his Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings because he thought he only had to report securities, not currencies.
However, two of his top aides, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Phil Banks and senior adviser Timothy Pearson, both answered “yes” to the crypto question in their annual financial disclosures. Banks and Pearson specified the dollar amount of their Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings, with Pearson claiming he owned less than 5% of a Bitcoin stake worth at least $60,000 at the end of 2022 and Banks saying he held at least $6,000 in Bitcoin and at least $5,000 in Ethereum.
Adams’s promotion of cryptocurrencies has been widely criticized. Environmental activists have accused the mayor of ignoring the way some forms of crypto are produced, which exacerbates climate change. Additionally, Adams was criticized for raising campaign cash from crypto industry executives at a fundraiser in the Hamptons last year.