Ohio becomes first state to accept bitcoin for tax payments
Ohio has become the first state in the United States to accept bitcoin for the payment of taxes.
Payments will not be processed directly by the state but instead go through blockchain technology platform and merchant bitcoin payments processor BitPay Inc., which will convert payments back into U.S. dollars. There are 23 different taxes that businesses can pay with bitcoin, including cigarette, tobacco, fuel and sales taxes.
The decision to accept bitcoin for tax payments is said to have come from Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel who is pitching the decision as being a signal “of the state’s broader ambitions to remake itself in a more tech-friendly image.”
A report from NPR noted that Cleveland, Ohio, is pushing a “Blockland Initiative” in hopes to develop a local economy based on blockchain technology.
“If you’re going to have a blockchain startup, this is the place you do it,” Bernie Moreno, a local blockchain guru and the man behind the push, is quoted as saying. “If you’re going to invest in blockchain startups, this is the place I would invest in. If you’re a developer [or] you’re a student who wants to do blockchain development, Cleveland is the place you do it.”
The decision to accept bitcoin for the payment of state taxes doesn’t come with a legal acceptance of bitcoin as a legitimate currency, but the acceptance is in one way a tacit approval that bitcoin is here to stay.
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