A Short-Lived Affair
Ohio’s love affair with the premier cryptocurrency didn’t last particularly long as on October 2, 2019, the state’s Treasurer, Robert Sprague, stated that Ohio was shutting down its bitcoin payment portal OhioCrypto.com that allowed business enterprises to pay their taxes with digital currency. Sprague added that after an internal review, it came to light that an official approval by the Board of Deposit was required before Ohio could launch any such website.
Interestingly, the buck doesn’t stop here as the State Board of Deposit has asked Attorney General Dave Yost to investigate as to how exactly was the cryptocurrency payment portal set up. Yost has also been given the responsibility of determining whether BitPay – a popular crypto payments processing platform in charge of the service – constituted a “financial transaction device.”
Should Yost come to an affirmative conclusion, then according to state laws, the third-party service provider firm should have been selected under a competitive selection process. Sprague said:
“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.”
“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.”
One Step Backward?
As reported by BTCManager in November 2018, Ohio broke through the U.S. crypto circles when it became the first state in the country to facilitate payment of business taxes through bitcoin. The development quickly became a major story for cryptocurrency adoption the world over with major retail chain Overstock even expressing its intentions to pay part of its business taxes with bitcoin.
That said, it’s also worth noting that the option of paying taxes with BTC didn’t really pick steam as only ten businesses ever paid their taxes with cryptocurrency.