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The famed hub of American 1960s radicalism and counterculture, Berkeley, California is at it again. Dormant for a few years, the US presidency of Donald Trump has awoken defiant spirits, as the city challenges administration policy over everything from immigration to taxation. One tool of resistance under consideration is an initial coin offering in creation of the city’s very own token.

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In Defiance of Trump Admin, Berkeley Considers Its Own Cryptocurrency

Berkeley city council member Ben Bartlett stressed, “Berkeley is the center of the resistance, and for the resistance to work, it must have a coin.” The resistance he spoke of has to do with the Trump administration, and its singling out of the local university over campus speech issues, along with threatening to defund Sanctuary Cities which decriminalize illegal immigrants, of which Berkeley is considered a leader.

The coin would be floated as a kind of municipal bond at first, targeted through an initial coin offering (ICO) aimed at funding housing for the city’s homeless. Mr. Bartlett continued, “You’re looking at a disaster. We thought we’d pull together the experts and find a way to finance [affordable housing] ourselves.”

Fear of immigration crackdowns, a reconstituted tax bill the city worries will impact it negatively, Mr. Bartlett has managed to get the city’s mayor on board the ICO idea. The city will partner with Neighborly and its UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab to push the project forward with a possible rollout by May. “Unlike most of the ICOs which deliver coins for a future value or service, these coins will represent a real security issued for a specific purpose,” Neighborly’s COO Kiran Jain explained.

A local token is seen, beyond housing concerns, as a hedge against Trump administration actions as a whole, Mr. Bartlett said. The city fully expects its budget to be impacted by federal cuts simply due to Berkeley’s role in openly fighting Mr. Trump’s policies

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