Heard Around Town

Did Eric Adams already own cryptocurrency last year?

The NYC mayor released his 2021 tax return, which suggests he might have owned Bitcoin before converting his paychecks this year.

Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at the annual meeting of Together for Safer Roads on Sept. 21, 2022.

Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at the annual meeting of Together for Safer Roads on Sept. 21, 2022. Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City Mayor Eric Adams made a big deal of converting his first three paychecks as mayor to cryptocurrency. But the Bitcoin-boosting mayor’s 2021 tax return, which he released to the press on Thursday, suggested that he already owned some crypto. Asked “at any time during 2021, did you receive, sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of any financial interest in any virtual currency?” he checked the box yes. As Bloomberg News first reported, he didn’t report any capital gains or losses, which suggests he hadn’t sold any, but rather bought or received it. Adams has been talking approvingly of Bitcoin since at least 2015, but City & State could not find any record of him personally owning any before becoming mayor in 2022. City Hall Press Secretary Fabien Levy couldn’t provide clarity, saying he didn’t know about Adams’ holdings. 

Adams has friends and contacts in the cryptocurrency world. Investor Michael Novogratz hosted a September fundraiser for Adams at the private club Zero Bond, and Adams rode with cryptocurrency billionaire Brock Pierce on his private jet to Puerto Rico for the Somos conference last November. 

Adams’ returns, which he released after getting a six month extension from the Internal Revenue Service, showed him reporting $245,324 in income, from his salary as Brooklyn borough president, his pension as a retired police captain and $3,429 of rental income from his Brooklyn townhouse. In previous years, as The City wrote, Adams reported a net loss on the property – which he toured reporters through ahead of the mayoral primary in an effort to prove he lived there. The Daily News also noted the returns appeared to contradict his Conflicts of Interest Board disclosure, which reported income from his book, “Healthy at Last.” Levy claimed Adams had not made any money on it, and it was reported to COIB “out of an abundance of caution.”

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