A Florida county has officially disclosed that it will begin accepting payments from residents in Bitcoin. It will, therefore, be possible to pay taxes and fees using cryptocurrency. It marks the first time a US county has done this and is a significant milestone on the road towards increased cryptocurrency adoption. It is being argued that the use of Bitcoin payments will improve payment efficiency and accuracy, as well as reduce fees.
The locality in question, Seminole County, is located just outside of Orlando, Florida. The Seminole County’s tax collector, Joel M. Greenberg, announced the decision that Seminole Country would begin accepting crypto payments on May 14. However, support for cryptocurrency payments will take until the summer to be implemented in the Florida county. Initially, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash will be supported, and residents will be able to pay for a multitude of county fees using virtual currencies.
Some examples of relevant payment areas are driver license and ID card fees, property taxes, as well as tags, titles and general services. The system will supposedly be based on BitPay’s technology, which would mean that the county would receive payments straight to its bank accounts the following business day. The primary aim of this initiative is to reduce the substantial fees currently being levied on payments processed through third-parties such as Mastercard or VISA. Furthermore, the project is intended to save the local government money, meaning that there will be more money left to spend on social benefits in the county. Moreover, the project will reportedly eliminate fraud and identity theft related to credit cards, providing a safer means of payment for residents.
This decision from Seminole County comes following a recently proposed state bill in Arizona, which would have allowed Arizonians to pay their taxes through cryptocurrency. However, this bill was amended and ended up merely recommending that the Arizona Department of Revenue should ”study” the option to potentially offer taxpayers a method to pay their tax using a payment gateway, such as Litecoin, Bitcoin, or some other cryptocurrency. This means that Seminole County will be the first locality in the US to accept cryptocurrency tax payments when the system goes live this summer.
It remains to be seen whether more US counties or even states, decide to adopt a similar system which could end up improving the security of payments, as well as ultimately save local governments money.
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