New York City Mayor Adams has decidedly raised cash from cryptocurrency industry executives at a campaign fundraiser in the Hamptons over the weekend. This was on the heels of urging Gov. Hochul to veto legislation that would ban a type of crypto-mining that puts a strain on the environment.
The Friday night fundraiser at a beachfront house in Southampton was attended by approximately 20 people, most of whom contributed the maximum $3,700 allowed by law, said Brandon Charnas, who helped host the shindig.
Charnas, the co-founder of Current, a real estate firm that represents and has brokered deals for several major crypto investment companies, said Adams stuck around to chat with donors for a couple of hours after delivering a speech that was in part focused on how he “wants to make New York City the country’s crypto hub.”
Recalling Adams’ remarks, Charnas said on Monday that the mayor said that even though cryptocurrencies are “obviously volatile, New York needs to be at the center of it all.”
“He specifically said that he wants the startups in crypto, and anyone in those new industries to be in New York because New York is the center of the world,” Charnas said. “It felt very motivating.”
Adams campaign adviser Evan Thies declined to say exactly how much money Adams raised at Friday’s event, but confirmed it took place at the home of Scott Shnay, an executive at the SK Development Group.
Others in attendance included Bill Schultz, a partner at venture capital firm Beliade, and Scott Sartiano, founder of Zero Bond, a Manhattan nightclub Adams is known to frequent. Charnas described the crowd as a mixture of “people in finance, tech, crypto and fashion.”
The Hamptons trip came days after Adams called on Hochul to veto a bill passed by the state Legislature that would place a two-year moratorium on new permits in the state for so-called “Proof of Work” crypto-mining, a computer process that creates new pieces of digital currencies like Bitcoin.
Proof of Work is extremely energy-intensive and relies on fossil fuels, and some investors have looked to turn old coal plants upstate into crypto-mining operations.
Though environmentalists have raised concern that such operations could jeopardize New York’s climate goals, Adams said in an interview with Crain’s last Monday that he wants Hochul to veto the bill because the state should not “put barriers” on the crypto industry.
Hochul has not yet said what she plans to do.