Business 15 May 2018

Erik Gibbs

Florida’s Seminole County gets it, will accept BTC, BCH for tax payments

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in one Florida county have something to brag about. Seminole County has become one of the first counties in the country to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. In a statement, Seminole County’s tax collector Joel Greenberg said that the office will begin to accept both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and BTC when residents pay for driver’s licenses, identification cards, property taxes and property titles.

The decision came as a means to streamline the collection of fees by the office while reducing possible fraud and identity theft. It also helps to increase transparency and accuracy of payment. The office stated that it doesn’t anticipate any “price volatility or risk to the County” from accepting cryptocurrency payments.

In the statement, Greenberg explained, “The aim of my tenure in office is to make our customer experience faster, smarter and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century and one way is the addition of cryptocurrency to our payment options.”

To process the payments, the tax office has teamed up with BitPay, making this the first government partnership for the digital currency payment processor. BitPay sees the move as a hugely positive one, stating, “[We] recognized the potential for blockchain to revolutionize the financial industry, making payments faster, more secure and less expensive on a global scale. With the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office, we have engaged our first government agency to accept [BTC] and Bitcoin Cash by making it easy and seamless for them.”

While Seminole County may be the first government body to accept cryptocurrency for paying taxes, it isn’t the first to toy with the idea. Both Georgia and Arizona tried to pass similar laws earlier this year, but they were killed in legislation. Arizona, on the other hand, has passed a bill that authorizes the use of blockchains for data sharing at the corporate-level, so it might just be a matter of time before lawmakers change their minds on crypto.

BitPay was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a BCH and BTC merchant payment processor and currently one of the largest cryptocurrency payment processors in the country.  It has teamed up with NewEgg, Microsoft, Warner Bros. Records, TigerDirect and PayPal to allow cryptocurrency payments. It has raised over $70 million from leading investors including Founders Fund, Index Ventures and Aquiline Technology Growth.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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