The state of Ohio announced in November that they would allow businesses to pay taxes with bitcoin, becoming the first state in America to do so. Some crypto enthusiasts were elated, viewing the announcement as one of the first true adoptions of cryptocurrency by the government in the United States, where lawmakers have gravitated to its underlying blockchain technology rather than virtual currencies themselves.
State treasurer Josh Mandel led the initiative, part of a rebranding effort to paint Ohio as a hub for tech and blockchain in the Midwest. “We are proud to make Ohio the first state in the nation to accept tax payments via cryptocurrency,” said Mandel in a statement. “We’re doing this to provide Ohioans more options and ease in paying their taxes and also to project Ohio’s leadership in embracing blockchain technology.”
Any business in Ohio can register at OhioCrypto.com, the state government’s official website for the effort, to pay any of “23 taxes eligible for payment” with bitcoin. The site touts the security, low fees, mobile payment options, and transparency offered by bitcoin and blockchain. Transparency in government seems to be a tentpole for Mandel – he helped launch OhioCheckbook.com in 2014, which “put all state spending information on the internet…[earning] Ohio the #1 ranking in the country for government transparency,” according to OhioCrypto.com.
Skeptics remain, however. The website clarifies that “at no point, will the Treasurer’s office hold cryptocurrency” – every payment made through the site will go through “third-party cryptocurrency payment processor partner BitPay…[where it is] immediately converted to USD before being deposited into a state account.” To hardcore crypto supporters, that’s not true adoption, says Matthew Da Silva via Quartz’s Private Key crypto newsletter, citing comments from a cryptocurrency subreddit. The announcement has also “raised questions, like whether selling bitcoin to pay taxes is a taxable event” – current guidelines point towards ‘yes.’
The move remains significant as the first of its kind, regardless of its standing among cryptocurrency’s most vehement adopters. Forbes contributor Kelly Phillips Erb notes that previous bitcoin-as-tax-payment initiatives were voted down in New Hampshire and Utah; “a bill to accept crypto for payments in Georgia” also failed. And the IRS “has authorized payment by check, money order, credit card, and debit card—but not by Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.” But Ohio and Arizona, where a recent virtual currency payment measure was passed by the state legislature before being vetoed, show an increased acceptance of cryptocurrency itself at a government level. Mainstream adoption remains a work in progress, but digital currencies are no longer an unknown quantity.
Unsure of What Cryptocurrencies to Buy and Sell, and When to Buy and Sell Them? Ask A.I.
Tickeron has developed Artificial Intelligence capable of spotting patterns and trends in the cryptocurrency markets, and the A.I. can deliver trade ideas straight to your inbox. When the AI confirms a bullish or bearish pattern, it will alert users to the pattern and provide a target price for where it thinks the cryptocurrency is headed. Users can use the AI to track just about any cryptocurrency of your choice.
You can learn more and even start a 45-day free trial today. Get started on tickeron.com.