Task force probes county cryptocurrency use
The Miami-Dade Cryptocurrency Task Force, created in April, now has seven of its planned members appointed after commissioners accepted a report detailing their credentials last week. They are now responsible for exploring the feasibility of receiving cryptocurrency and other digital monetary forms as an acceptable method of payment for county taxes, fees, and services.
They are to present recommendations and findings to commissioners six months after they first meet after reviewing and analyzing efforts undertaken by other local, state, or national governments relating to cryptocurrencies.
Requisites for the community task force include at least five years in the cryptocurrency, financial, banking, business development, or cybersecurity industries. The team “should reflect the gender, racial, ethnic, and cultural makeup of the community,” documents state.
After accepting the resolution, the task force now includes:
Michael Hall (nominated by Commissioner Oliver Gilbert) is the founder of Digital Grass, a company dedicated to establishing a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Florida; the owner and senior managing partner of MediumFour, a marketing and branding company; and also, co-founder of W3RTECH, Inc., a non-profit that aims to increase diversity inclusion in technology.
Mr. Hall, county documents say, has experience providing customized technology platforms to his clients and has worked with companies led by minorities, women and LGBT community by programs such as GROWTherapy; GROW CEO Space; CITEE; 2 Techies; Tech, Beats & Bites; Miami 20% Economic Impact Plan; and Junction Halls.
Daniel Stabile (nominated by Commissioner Sally Heyman) is a partner at the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is a member of the Financial Services Practice Group. Mr. Stabile is a professor at the University of Miami Law School in a course about blockchain and digital asset regulation; and he is also an author of a textbook and at least four publications on the matter.
Since 2017 he has been giving presentations on cryptocurrencies, digital assets and their regulatory frameworks. He is co-chairman of the Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA) Innovations Committee, and has advised government officials regarding digital asset technology and regulation, according to his resume.
Isis Pacheco Velasco (nominated by Commissioner Rebeca Sosa) since 2016 has been vice president of Interamerican Bank, where she has been exploring the options to offer cryptocurrencies to customers. She has given “support to the senior management team and work[ed] closely with the board of directors on matters involving governance, regulatory, and bank-wide matters,” according to her resume. She is a lawyer and served as law clerk of the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami and congressional intern to US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s District Office.
Samir Patel (nominated by Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins) has been an associate attorney at Holland & Knight LLP since September 2017. He represents financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies on matters including blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and real estate. He is a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University and is a member of the Florida Bar.
Andrew Barnard (nominated by Commissioner Kionne McGhee) is the CEO and co-founder of Bitstop, an “early pioneer” in the Bitcoin ATM industry; co-founder of HODL Wallet, a mobile bitcoin wallet; co-founder of Miami Bitcoin Hackathon; and co-chair of Virtual Currency Committee of the Florida International Bankers Association. Mr. Barnard has been a speaker/moderator of 11 presentations related to finances, blockchain and digital asset regulations.
Omar Blanco (nominated by Commissioner Joe A. Martinez) has been at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department since 2004. According to his resume, in 2001 Mr. Blanco was technology manager at Shutts & Bowen LLP; IT director at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming (February 1999); and IT manager at FPA Medical Management, Inc. (1996).
Elijah John Bowdre (nominated by Commissioner Keon Hardemon) is the blockchain solutions director of Gemvault, a crypto-blockchain technology solutions firm since 2016. He was the idea specialist of NBCUniversal Miami Hackathon in 2018 and blockchain solution specialist at MIT/Startup Bootcamp – Hacking Medicine – Healthcare hackathon in 2018. Mr. Bowdre also has worked with Miami-Dade County since 2017 as executive secretary of the Board of Commissioners – Millennial Task Force, and at the county chamber of commerce as vice president of membership – Young Professionals Network (2017-2019 term).