Ohio has just become the first U.S. state and one of the first governments in the world to allow businesses to pay taxes, including sales and public utility taxes, with bitcoin.
State Treasurer Josh Mandel announced Monday that businesses can now register for the program through the website OhioCrypto.com, a portal that will, via a third-party processor called BitPay, convert the digital currency into dollars that will then be deposited into the state’s accounts.
Businesses that operate in Ohio will be able to use bitcoin to pay for 23 different types of taxes, Mandel’s office said in a press release. A 1-percent fee will be levied on each transaction, per AP.
“We are proud to make Ohio the first state in the nation to accept tax payments via cryptocurrency,” Mandel said in a statement. “We’re doing this to provide Ohioans more options and ease in paying their taxes and also to project Ohio’s leadership in embracing blockchain technology.”
Mandel said bitcoin will be the only cryptocurrency accepted for now but said he “looks forward to adding other cryptocurrencies in the future.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, individual filers in Ohio, and not just businesses, will eventually also be able to pay their taxes with bitcoin.
Mandel, who has developed an interest in cryptocurrency in recent years and referred to bitcoin as a “legitimate form of currency,” told the Journal that he hopes other states will follow Ohio’s example.
Ohio’s move comes at a bad time for bitcoin, which has seen its value plummet in recent months. CNBC reported Monday that the price of a single bitcoin has dropped more than $15,000 since last December.