Beginning today, November 26, 2018, Ohio will be the first US state to accept Bitcoin payments for more than 20 kinds of state business taxes. Payments made in Bitcoin will be made through third-party payment service BitPay. The Ohio Treasurer’s website lists the 23 kinds of business taxes that can be paid with the popular cryptocurrency, including: commercial activity; sales tax; employee withholding; and utility tax.
Under the guidance of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, the state is working to increase transparency and leverage new technologies. From the Treasurer’s website: “Treasurer Mandel believes in leveraging cutting-edge technology to provide Ohioans more options and ease while interfacing with state government. The Treasurer’s office is also working to help make Ohio a national leader in blockchain technology.”
Touting the benefits of the new payment option, the Ohio Treasurer’s website says: “The Ohio Treasurer’s office continues to be an innovation leader by leveraging technology to offer cutting-edge tools and services to Ohioans. We are proud to offer another tax payment option for Ohio taxpayers.” The website lists “The Benefits”: Quick and easy; real-time tracking; secure payments; low fees; transparency; and mobile options.
From the state’s website: “Cryptocurrencies cannot be transferred to third parties without user initiation, thereby practically eliminating fraud; Anyone can view all transactions on the blockchain network; Payments on the blockchain can be tracked on a second-by-second basis; a minimal fee is charged to confirm transactions on the blockchain network.”
The Treasurer’s office outlines the process by which cryptocurrency payments will be made to the state, including explanation of a 15-minute window in which transactions will occur. During that window, BitPay, the third-party processor, will assume the risk of any market fluctuations that should occur during that time. After a payment is made, it will be processed through BitPay and immediately converted into USD before being deposited into a state account.
While the state is currently only accepting Bitcoin, the Treasurer’s office is looking to add more cryptocurrency payment options in the future.