Starting this week, Ohio businesses will have a new way to pay their taxes: Bitcoin. The Wall Street Journal reports (via TechCrunch) that the state of Ohio has opened a cryptocurrency portal, ohiocrypto.com, which will allow businesses to pay with the digital currency.
The WSJ says that Ohio appears to be the first state to allow people to pay with a cryptocurrency, and that the idea originated with State Treasurer Josh Mandel. The site’s FAQ cites the state’s track record with innovation and says that paying via Bitcoin is instantaneous, secure, and transparent. It also lists 23 different taxes that businesses can pay with Bitcoin, ranging from cigarette and tobacco taxes to fuel and sales taxes.
The website directs businesses to enter their state registration number and enter their tax payment amount and tax period date. From there, they can use their cryptocurrency wallet to pay off their balance. The state Treasurer’s office will then use BitPay to process the payment. The website says that businesses operating in and paying taxes in Ohio are eligible — they don’t necessarily need to be headquartered in the state. The site says that Bitcoin is the only currency that’s currently accepted, but that it’s looking to add additional options in the future.
Writing for the WSJ, Paul Vigna notes that while Ohio’s initiative doesn’t grant the currency legal status, “it would be a kind of tacit approval bitcoin has so far lacked.” He notes that Arizona, Georgia, and Illinois have each considered similar programs, but that those haven’t made it through their respective legislatures.