Asked on Bloomberg News Thursday morning “just how big a deal” it is that Ohio now accepts cryptocurrencies for tax payments, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel responded in kind saying that Ohio is “proud to do its small part” by being the first in the nation to do so.
Speaking from a true position of authority on the subject of state taxation, the official said there were two primary motivations for the move: one, to make life easier for taxpayers and two, perhaps most significantly, to stimulate innovative industries to migrate to Ohio.
His exact words were as follows:
We’re proud to do our small part and take this small step to make Ohio the first state in America to enable taxpayers to be able to pay via cryptocurrency. We’re doing this for two main reasons. First, to give more options and ease to taxpayers in how they pay their taxes.
And second to really plant the flag in Ohio and say that Ohio is a place that’s embracing cryptocurrency, embracing blockchain technology, and send the message to the rest of the country – to software developers, to entrepreneurs and others, that Ohio is open for business. If you want to grow a blockchain company, if you want to grow a software development company, do it here in the state of Ohio.
Mandel went on to demonstrate an intimate knowledge in how person-to-person cryptocurrency transactions work for the Bloomberg anchors.
A commentator from London heckled Mandel, claiming that fees were quite high and there was a high degree of difficulty for the average user to set up and use a Bitcoin wallet. At present time, with a high number of inputs, a typical Bitcoin transaction using legacy technology will cost about $1.25 . This is the network fee, separate from the fee charged by Ohio for processing the payment it later receives from BitPay – 1%.
Bitcoin fees themselves are not based on amount of money transacted, but instead the actual amount of space on the blockchain that will be consumed. Several wallets such as Mycellium make it rather easy for the user to minimize fees.
Mandel responded to the London-based commentator with a stark reality: there is a 2.5% fee if the taxpayer wants to pay with a credit or debit card.
Mandel said that a growing number of “small and medium-sized businesses” in Ohio want the state to embrace blockchain technology. He then mentioned the Blockland Conference in Cleveland happening early next week.
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