(Bloomberg) -- A crypto exchange has suspended trading of cryptocurrencies dedicated to New York City and Miami, citing limited liquidity for the tokens.
Both coins earlier received support from the cities’ respective mayors, New York City’s Eric Adams and Miami’s Francis Suarez, who touted the digital assets as benefiting the community. Like any other proof-of-work token, users could mine the coins, but MIA and NYC came with a twist: 30% of the money spent on mining would be donated to the city, according to Okcoin.
The exchange suspended buying, selling and trading of NYCCoin and MiamiCoin last week, according to a March 9 statement from Okcoin. Token holders can withdraw their holdings to another wallet or keep them there. The exchange aims to restore trading of the coins “as soon as possible,” per the release.
“The concern with low liquidity is that malicious, third-party actors can manipulate prices, launder stolen funds, and perpetrate other frauds,” Okcoin said. “While none of these risks have occurred, we wanted to get ahead of any possible misconduct. So we moved immediately to address and stop these events from occurring.”
Okcoin didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. Miami’s city office was not available to comment and a New York city representative for the mayor’s office said NYCCoin has “no affiliation” with the city.
CityCoins, which works on the Stacks protocol, developed the tokens. Okcoin was the only centralized platform that listed the CityCoins, according to the March statement. In January, the exchange’s security team noted low liquidity levels of NYC and MIA. When it became clear that adding liquidity would take some time, the exchange opted to suspend trading. Users can still trade the coins on the ALEX decentralized exchange, per Okcoin’s statement.
According to the CityCoins’ website, the cities did not officially partner with CityCoins. Even so, as early as 2021, both leaders tweeted out their support for the coins.
Back in 2021, the price of Bitcoin soared in the age of easy money and a crypto frenzy that imagined no ceiling for digital assets prices. A lot has changed since then — especially the price. Bitcoin has dropped from its all-time high of more than $65,000 in November 2021 to now trade around $28,000.
For MiamiCoin and NYCCoin, the losses have been even more pronounced. These days, both trade for basically nothing, according to Okcoin.com. But even at their best, the tokens’ values hardly shot above several cents, according to Okcoin.com.
Suarez took an especially bullish stance toward MiamiCoin’s potential benefits. He said in February 2022 that Miami had received millions of dollars from a disbursement from CityCoins, while earlier noting the token could help Miami become a tax-free city.
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