Berkeley Eyes Its Own ICO to Thumb Nose at Trump Administration

Berkeley Eyes Its Own ICO to Thumb Nose at Trump Administration

The Trump administration has been threatening to cut off funding to “sanctuary cities” —  typically large, more liberal American cities that offer refuge to undocumented immigrants. That’s set up a showdown with Berkeley, California, one of America’s most liberal hubs. Now, Berkeley officials want an ICO to extricate the need for federal funding.

Also read: Bitcoin Finds Unfurling Use in American Political Donations

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City Council Member: “[We] Must Have a Coin”

The Berkeley City Council is considering launching an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to free the city from the specter of losing millions of dollars in federal funding as the Trump administration clamps down on sanctuary cities.

Trump
Berkeley at dusk.

The proposed ICO would help raise funds for administrative projects within Berkeley, like supporting the city’s swelling homeless population and creating affordable housing initiatives.

Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett sees the idea as a novel way to gain more independence from federal monies:

“Berkeley is the center of the resistance, and for the resistance to work, it must have a coin.”

But Don’t Call It a “Coin” Offering …

A task force for charting out a course for an ICO has materialized between UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab, fintech play Neighborly, and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín.

Neighborly chief operating officer Kiran Jain isn’t calling the project a “coin offering” — rather, he’s dubbing it an initial community offering.

The play on the traditional phrase refers to the intended use-cases Berkeley’s cryptocurrency will fill, such as paying rent within the city or using the crypto to shop at local businesses.

Of the community, by the community, and for the community, right?

Berkeley Token Bond-Backed

Rather than just being a fundraising dive, Berkeley will have each of its tokens propped up by municipal bonds. That development in itself would be an unprecedented milestone for the cryptoverse.

The aforementioned Jain noted that Berkeley’s coming from a different angle than usual:

“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.”

What do you think? Is this a good or bad move on Berkeley’s part? Sound off in the comments below. 


Images via News 1330, VisitCalifornia

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