UK Parliament Member Wants You to Pay Your Taxes with Bitcoin

December 10, 2018 23:43 UTC

A member of the British Parliament wants UK residents to be able to pay their local taxes and utility bills using bitcoin. Eddie Hughes, a conservative MP (member of Parliament) for the Walsall North constituency, said this would be a great first step toward mainstream adoption of crypto.

Hughes said it’s time for other members of Parliament to familiarize themselves with cryptocurrencies and blockchain because the revolutionary technologies and the buzz surrounding them aren’t going away, Express UK reported.

Crypto is ‘Talked About a Lot’ in UK

“It gets talked about a lot wherever you go in the UK, and as MPs we have a duty to understand it,” said Hughes, a self-proclaimed “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge.”

The 50-year-old lawmaker noted that the British charity RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) recently started accepting cryptocurrency donations.

“If we can do that, what’s to stop us being able to pay council tax and other bills with bitcoin?” Hughes asked.

Ohio Businesses Can Pay Taxes with Bitcoin

Hughes’ suggestion comes two weeks after Ohio became the first US state to allow businesses to pay taxes using bitcoin.

The state government has partnered with crypto payment processor BitPay to manage the payment in crypto and conversion to dollars, as CCN reported.

The idea is the brainchild of Ohio’s Republican state treasurer, Josh Mandel, a cryptocurrency fan who says bitcoin is “a legitimate form of currency.”

Mandel, an attorney, said he birthed the idea because he wants his state to become a leader in the US crypto market.

“Ohio is a place that’s embracing cryptocurrency, embracing blockchain technology, and sending the message to the rest of the country — to software developers, to entrepreneurs and others — that Ohio is open for business,” Mandel gushed.

‘You’re Either Ahead of the Curve or Behind’

Similarly, MP Eddie Hughes wants the UK to “plant a flag” and become a world leader in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry.

“You’re either ahead of the curve or you’re behind the curve,” Hughes said. “Our country is in an interesting position right now. We are at a crossroads and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove very beneficial.”

Hughes said part of the reason why cryptocurrencies are not more widely adopted is because many people are unfamiliar with them.

“People not understanding how the transaction works is holding us back in terms of mass adoption,” he said. Hughes insists that once people understand how blockchain and crypto work, they will embrace it.

US Lawmakers: Let Crypto Fuel Economic Boom

Eddie Hughes’ sense of urgency is mirrored across the pond by crypto-savvy US lawmakers.

As CCN reported, there’s a major push among some US Congressmen to position the United States as a leader in the crypto industry.

Last week, Reps. Darren Soto and Ted Budd introduced two bills to prevent cryptocurrency price manipulation and enhance the United States’ position as a market leader.

In a joint statement, Soto and Budd said cryptocurrencies and blockchain have “profound potential” to bolster the economy.

“Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology have a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth,” the congressmen said. “That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront.”

Soto and Budd said the laws they proposed would protect investors without hampering the “environment of innovation” that would maximize the groundbreaking potential of these technologies.

Featured Image from Wikimedia Commons

Last modified: December 10, 2018 21:42 UTC

@Samantha_Chang

Samantha Chang is a New York City-based financial editor who writes about crypto and business at . She is a law school grad and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. You can reach her on Twitter at Samantha Chang or email her at schang121@juno.com.