Ohio is now the first in the country to allow payments in the digital currency bitcoin from businesses paying 23 kinds of taxes – from commercial activity taxes to gas and cigarette taxes to sales taxes to employee withholding taxes.
The state wouldn’t actually take in and hold bitcoin – businesses would pay through the third-party processor Bitpay.
State treasurer Josh Mandel says Bitpay, headquartered in Atlanta, is one of few companies that will quickly convert bitcoin into dollars. “But hopefully, there will eventually be a company in Ohio or maybe multiple companies in Ohio that do payment processing for cryptocurrency.”
Mandel says the fee will be 1%, which is a huge sum for large payments, but it’s less than the 2.5% charged for businesses paying via credit card. Mandel says the goal is to establish Ohio as a leader in blockchain technology, and to eventually accept other cryptocurrencies from businesses and individual taxpayers. It’s uncertain how many businesses might sign up.