Ohio will become the first state in the US to officially accept tax payments in bitcoin, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Beginning this week, businesses who plan to make settlements for their taxes with bitcoin can visit OhioCrypto.com and register to pay all their corporate taxes to the government in BTC. The state government has partnered with crypto payment processor BitPay to handle the payment in crypto and conversion to dollars for the tax office.
The idea was birthed by the current state treasurer, Josh Mandel, who sees accepting cryptocurrency as a great way to rebrand the Buckeye State by enabling forward-thinking tech ideas. Bitcoin has been used for speculative purposes in most cases in the US, as it hasn't picked up as a means of payment for goods and services for several reasons. One key reason for this is the massive price volatility, which makes many merchants nervous to accept it -- even though this is generally not something that they should worry about when using a payment processor such as BitPay or Coinbase.
Mandel, who has been interested in bitcoin since he was appointed in 2011, said he sees the flagship cryptocurrency "as a legitimate form of currency."
While Ohio's move won't do much to affect the free fall of cryptocurrencies at the moment, it's still a win for bitcoin and a form of government approval, which the cryptocurrency has been lacking in the United States.
The WSJ quoted Jerry Brito, the director of Coin Center, a crypto research and lobbying firm, who said that he believes a government institution like the state treasury accepting tax payments in bitcoin "sends a message that bitcoin's a technology that can be used by anybody—by bad guys but also by the government." Other states in the US who have considered bitcoin payments for taxes includes Arizona, Georgia, and Illinois, but the bills were met with resistance at the legislative level.
Earlier this month, the Ohio-based Great Lakes Science Center announced its decision to accept payments in bitcoin, a move which the museum hopes will help develop the blockchain industry.
According to Kirsten Ellenbogen, the CEO of Great Lakes Science Center, visitors can pay for their admission tickets into the museum with BTC.
“There is a lot of excitement around the conference. Accepting bitcoin is just a small part of the momentum to grow a blockchain ecosystem in Cleveland,” Ellenbogen said at the time.
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