Thirty executives at a real estate firm with a history of touting the value of cryptocurrencies donated more than $21,000 to Mayor Adams’ reelection bid shortly after he asked Gov. Hochul last month to veto a bill that would impose new crypto regulations in the state, according to a Daily News review of campaign finance records.
But a spokeswoman for the firm, the Manhattan-based Newmark Group, claimed Monday that the flood of donations were unrelated to Adams’ veto push.
“The timing was purely coincidental,” the spokeswoman said. “The mayor is in the midst of a fundraising push and the donations were the result of a scheduled fundraising event.”
The rep declined to specify the fundraising event. Evan Thies, an Adams campaign advisor, declined to comment.
Adams publicly urged Hochul on June 13 to veto the legislation, which would make it illegal to create new pieces of cryptocurrencies using an environmentally harmful computer process known as “proof-of-work.”
That same day, eight Newmark executives gave a combined $9,800 to Adams’ 2025 campaign, city Campaign Finance Board records show. Among them were Newmark CEO Barry Gosin, who chipped in $400, and regional president David Falk, who gave $2,100, the max individual amount allowed by law.
Over the next two days, 22 more Newmark employees — ranging from junior-level associates to an executive managing director — pumped another $11,300 into Adams’ campaign coffers, records show. In total, the 30 Newmark bigs funneled $21,100 to Adams in the three-day span after he asked Hochul to block the anti-crypto bill.
Newmark’s political cash spray — part of the $850,000 Adams has already raised for his 2025 reelection campaign — comes as the firm is urging companies in the real estate sector to embrace cryptocurrencies.
A report issued by Newmark in March encouraged the sector to rely more on blockchain, the digital ledger system used to store cryptocurrencies, and look into allowing crypto for real estate sales.
“Blockchain adoption seems the probable future first-step in the (commercial real estate) sphere,” said the report.
And on May 3 — just a few days before cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin began plummeting in value as part of a digital market crash — Newmark managing director Adam Green published a piece on the firm’s website gushing about there being “a lot of investment potential” in blockchain and crypto spaces.
Overall, Adams’ 2025 campaign has raked in at least $150,000 from real estate interests this year, according to Politico.
The Newmark spokeswoman dismissed the idea that the firm has an interest in crypto, saying its publications on the matter do not “address company policy.”
“Newmark does not take a view on cryptocurrency as an asset. At this time, Newmark does not accept cryptocurrency as payment, and has no cryptocurrency holdings,” she said. “Hence, any suggestion that Newmark’s strategy embraces cryptocurrency is false.”
Adams has been a major crypto promoter since taking office, even converting his first three first City Hall paychecks into Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In pressing Hochul to veto the bill, Adams has argued any new crypto regulations would stifle economic growth. “If we continue to put barriers in place, then we’re going to hurt the bottom line,” he said last month.
Hochul has not yet said whether she will sign the measure, which would place a two-year moratorium on the “proof-of-work” crypto-mining process.
The process is extremely energy intensive, and environmental advocates say it could exacerbate climate change as a result. In New York, advocates have been especially troubled by attempts from crypto firms to turn defunct fossil fuel plants upstate into proof-of-work crypto-mining operations.
Assembly member Anna Kelles (D-Ithaca), the lead sponsor of the moratorium bill, noted that Adams promised state lawmakers in February that he supported “cryptocurrency, not crypto-mining.”
“Ten weeks later he is publicly asking the governor to veto a bill that exclusively and only puts a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining in fossil fuel-based power plants,” Kelles said. “I think that he needs to stand strong on his original statements and facts and truth. If he wants to support crypto he can without supporting fossil fuel burning mining in upstate New York.”