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Gov. DeSantis Seeks 'Crypto Friendly' Florida

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - Gov. Ron DeSantis is using his budget proposal to state legislators to try to make Florida more friendly to cryptocurrency.

DeSantis' $99.7 billion proposal released Thursday includes $700,000 for cryptocurrency projects at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Department of Financial Services.

"We're going to have a program to allow Florida businesses to pay state fees in cryptocurrency," DeSantis told reporters at the Capitol. "I think you've seen in South Florida, it's been a huge thing. A lot of people have flocked to South Florida over this issue. And so, our view as the state government, this is something that we welcome. And we want to make sure that the state government is crypto-friendly."

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been a leading proponent of cryptocurrency, backing the launch of MiamiCoin --- programmable city-based tokens --- through CityCoins, which is based on Bitcoin technology.

Also this year, American Airlines Arena in Miami was rebranded FTX after the naming rights to the arena were acquired by the cryptocurrency exchange.

Under DeSantis' proposal for the 2022 legislative session, $250,000 would go to set up a pilot program where people could pay motor-vehicle title certificates through Blockchain technology at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Also, $250,000 would go to the Agency for Health Care for a separate pilot project that uses Blockchain technology to authenticate Medicaid transactions and identify potential Medicaid fraud. The Department of Financial Services would get $200,000 to implement a payment service so businesses could pay fees for incorporation with cryptocurrency to the Department of State.

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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