In 2018, the crypto community rejoiced when the American state of Ohio stated that they would be allowing businesses to pay their taxes using cryptocurrency with the setting up of a website that allows businesses to do this seamlessly. This move was not just a sign of progress for crypto in Ohio but many believed it would be the stepping stone towards even more crypto adoption and acceptance as if the government was formally recognizing cryptocurrency as a valid means of payment then others would as well.
Unfortunately, it seems this was not last as on October 2, 2019, a letter was sent out by Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague which states the immediate suspension of the website that allowed businesses within Ohio to pay their taxes with cryptocurrency.
The End of an Era
The letter states that approval by the Board of Deposit was required before the website could be set up and before businesses could begin making these payments in cryptocurrency. Now an investigation will be carried out by Attorney General Dave Yost which would explore the process of setting up the payment portal and whether BitPay, who is the third-party processor, constitues a financial transaction device.
If BitPay does constitute a financial transaction device, then they should have been chosen by a competitive selection process as stated in state laws.
“It is vital that Ohio explores innovative, new technologies and processes that continue to drive Ohio into the future. However, we must make sure any new processes that are implemented, such as OhioCrypto.com, are established in accordance with Ohio law,” the letter says.
The website has since been taken down from the Internet and the URL redirect users to the main website of the Ohio treasurers website. One of the possible reasons for this move is the fact the paying of taxes using cryptocurrency did not prove to be as popular as many would have wanted as since the launch of the website in 2018, only 10 businesses have paid their taxes using this method.
“As Ohio Treasurer, it’s my job to provide trusted stewardship and protection of Ohio’s tax dollars, and to follow the laws of this state. Until a formal opinion is issued by the Attorney General, I feel it is prudent to suspend the website,” Sprague said.