Starting Monday, businesses in Ohio will be able to pay their taxes in bitcoin — making the state that’s high in the middle and round on both ends the first in the nation to accept cryptocurrency officially.
Companies that want to take part in the program simply need to go to OhioCrypto.com and register to pay in crypto whatever taxes their corporate hearts desire. It could be anything from cigarette sales taxes to employee withholding taxes, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which first noted the initiative.
The brainchild of current Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel, the bitcoin program is intended to be a signal of the state’s broader ambitions to remake itself in a more tech-friendly image.
Already, Ohio has something of a technology hub forming in Columbus, home to one of the largest venture capital funds in the Midwest, Drive Capital. And Cleveland (the city once called “the mistake on the lake”) is trying to remake itself in cryptocurrency’s image with a new drive to rebrand the city as “Blockland.”
Whether anyone will look to take advantage of Ohio’s newfound embrace of digital currencies is debatable.
The cryptocurrency market is currently in the kind of free-fall (or collapse, or implosion, or conflagration, or all-consuming dumpster fire) that’s usually reserved for tulips in Holland in February 1637.
Other states around the country also considered accepting bitcoin for taxes, but those initiatives in places like Arizona, Georgia and Illinois never got past state legislatures.
The state is working with the cryptocurrency payment startup BitPay to handle its payments, which will convert the bitcoin to dollars.