During an annual speech given on April 12, 2018 at the Heymann Performing Arts center in Lafayette, LA, the Mayor-President Joel Robideaux of Lafayette Parish proposed that the parish create its own cryptocurrency and an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Mayor Robideaux says he wants Lafayette to be a technological hub.
“It’s not just a bunch of global libertarians that want unregulated, untraceable and secure digital currency transactions,” Robideaux said. “It’s the recognition of global stakeholders that the world of banking, finance and payment systems is forever changed, that the world of healthcare, government and possibly every other industry is about to be disrupted.”
Robideaux stressed to the audience that he wishes to take the proceeds from an ICO in order to, “build a living lab of blockchain researchers and developers.” He didn’t elaborate on how such a living lab would be implemented but he did discuss how being on the forefront of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and what machine learning systems could mean for their local government.
The plan the Louisiana mayor is proposing is very similar to one that Seoul, South Korea is thinking of doing and one that the futuristic city of Dubai in the UAE has already begun. In the US, the city of Berkeley, California has started the idea of a cryptocurrency and backing it with municipal bonds and selling those “crypto enabled microbonds” in order to raise money for affordable housing to help the city’s large homeless population.