Ohio seems on track to become the first American state to actually accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for taxes and other obligations, a decision that could mean a start in the long run toward the adoption of cryptocurrencies as real and legitimate means of payment.
According to an article published by the Wall Street Journal, users will be able to initiate the payment process in crypto in a matter of days:
“Beginning this week, Ohio businesses will be able to go to the website OhioCrypto.com and register to pay everything from cigarette sales taxes to employee withholding taxes with bitcoin. Eventually, the initiative will expand to individual filers.”
The initiative was proposed by Josh Mandel, Ohio’s Treasurer, who is a loyal supporter of the use of bitcoin as a “legitimate form of currency.” Mandel hopes this new program will serve as an opportunity for “planting a flag” for Ohio regarding innovation and adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Ohio: Implementing A Legal and Successful Way For Users to Pay with Bitcoin
To prevent the initiative from getting stuck in the bureaucratic apparatus – something that has happened with similar efforts that other states have tried in the past – Mandel used a small subterfuge: Via an alliance with Bitpay, users would make their payment in Bitcoin, Bitpay then converts the amount to US Dollars to subsequently deposit it in the state’s accounts.
In this way, Ohio would receive payments exclusively in traditional fiat money even though users issue their payments in bitcoin.
The initiative is quite interesting from a legal point of view. Accepting payments in Bitcoin even indirectly “does help send a message that bitcoin’s a technology that can be used by anybody-by bad guys but also by the government,” said Jerry Brito, the director of Washington, D.C.-based research firm Coin Center.
Josh Mandel is confident that this initiative will be beneficial in the future, and he is optimistic that those who succeed him after his tenure as head of Ohio’s Treasury will maintain this program as a way to provide more comfort to users and promote the use of cryptocurrencies for legal and legitimate purposes:
“I’m confident that this cryptocurrency initiative will continue,”