The U.S. state of Ohio has reported that two businesses have settled their taxes using cryptocurrencies.
Speaking at a state forum on policy issues on February 19, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague revealed that they had collected two receipts being payments for taxes paid in crypto.
In November last year, Ohio made history as the first the first U.S. state to draft legislation that allowed businesses within the state to pay taxes using digital tokens like Bitcoin (BTC).
That move elicited positive sentiments from the wider crypto community, including a U.K. lawmaker who cited Ohio’s decision a huge step forward that the United Kingdom should seek to follow.
Although Sprague noted that they had two receipts for the crypto, he did not specify the amount of tax that the two businesses paid via crypto.
In November, Ohio reportedly listed about 23 taxes that businesses could settle using cryptocurrencies. At the same time, it explained that all cryptocurrency payments would be processed via bitcoin payments processor BitPay.
Those filing taxes were to send digital assets equivalent to their taxes to BitPay, which would then convert the crypto into U.S dollars on behalf of the Ohio tax office.
The tax office had stated that the state wouldn’t handle any crypto payments directly. The integrity of that message was also clear during the forum, with Sprague clarifying that officials only accept tax payments made in the U.S. dollar.
He elaborated on the earlier reports, maintaining that they use a crypto platform to exchange the cryptocurrency into fiat, adding that “[the state] will never accept won or renminbi or francs or cryptocurrency, or any other currency.”
“You have to relieve your debts to the state of Ohio with U.S. dollars. That’s what we’re currently accepting.”
According to Sprague, Ohio is conducting a review of the program with a view to determining how to expand it or limit its use. The treasury, in conjunction with the vendor, has instituted investigations into what counterparty risks may potentially exist.
Ohio’s firmer Treasurer Josh Mandel said last year that the state’s legislation that led to the decision to accept crypto for taxes had “planted a flag,” a move that would significantly aid in crypto adoption efforts across the U.S.
The state didn’t stop with that. In December 2018, several Ohio-based funds revealed plans for a $300 million investment in blockchain-based startups, with the program running through 2021.
The funds targeted investments in startups looking to develop blockchain applications that would spur further growth in local businesses, government, and welfare projects, among others.
Last week, Ohio’s County Auditors’ Association announced a working group that would explore how to leverage blockchain to facilitate real estate transactions as well as in the transfer of land titles.
Some other U.S. states have recently moved towards the use of crypto or support for blockchain projects, including Wyoming and New Hampshire.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.