An interesting turn of events has transpired in a southern US state recently. The news came out that a tax collector in Florida began accepting payments in the form of cryptocurrency. This snowballed into big news especially thanks to the fact that the US is hovering around the idea of having the more regulatory scrutiny of the crypto markets. For some in the crypto community, it could be even more tempting to classify this event as a U-turn in the US policy on cryptocurrency services in the country.
However, the same way of thinking could end up completely wrong, even though it has the potential to develop into something important. Here are the details about the same news and the possible ways it could become relevant for the crypto community.
A Tax Collector in Seminole
A tax collector in Florida’s Seminole Country by the name of Joel Greenberg began this story when he stated that his office will start accepting bitcoin and bitcoin cash as payments. They will be conducted using BitPay processor platform. The taxes paid in this manner will be associated with ID cards and driver licenses.
The whole office came to this decision because they wanted to streamline the process of the fee collection process, but also reduce fraud and cases of identity theft. They are also hopeful that the process will be able to increase the accuracy of the payments and boost its transparency.
Greenberg stated that his aim for his tenure in the office is to make the experience customers have faster, more efficient and smarter. In his view, a way to do that is to take the processes established in the 18th century and move them in the 21st. Cryptocurrency payments are one of such options.
Jeremie Beaudry, a representative of the BitPay Company, said that the Seminole office is their first government partnership. The head of compliance at BitPay underlined that the company came about with the purpose of being a part of the revolution in the financial industry.
Now, with the tax office, the company will make sure that the payments in bitcoin and bitcoin cash are easy and seamless. There is little doubt that both the tax office and BitPay dearly hope their entire collaboration is just like that.
Plans in other US States
Currently, lawmakers in both Georgia and Arizona are examining proposed bills that would allow citizens to use cryptocurrency to pay their state tax liabilities. At this point, both bills have yet to make it to law and they face some determined opposition.
However, there is a synergy of interest at play here. For the first time, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seem to be having access to a whole range of supporter, all from different quarters.
A number of politicians are clearly willing to champion these issues and stand for their implementation into new or existing laws. Others, like libertarians, want to have access to divergent means of financial transactions. Finally, regular individuals most likely will not be disheartened by having access to an additional means of tax payment.
In the modern world, people are more accustomed to things like eSports, social media and big data procedures than most would believe. Having the means of paying taxes in cryptocurrency probably falls in the same category for most people, even if they never plan on using this option for now.
State-level US Authorities Taking up Crypto
This is not the first time a lower-tier government agency in the US decided to find a way to make cryptocurrency work for them. A sheriff’s department in the state of Arizona purchased a bitcoin mining rig with the purpose of generating BTC for their operations in late 2017. There, the authorities recognized that some criminal ventures employ bitcoin as a means of financial transaction.
That is why they decided that the best way to approach these crimes is to try to infiltrate them using their own BTC. Thankfully, the process of attaining BTC is very straightforward so the same law enforcement department decided to purchase a mining rig and being generating their own cryptocurrency.
In this case, the sheriff’s department acted within the accordance of the law and began a legal process of generating cryptocurrency tokens. Of course, there is a range of issues related to the same process. For example, if the bitcoin tokens are used in a sting operation and then recovered, what happened to them?
The sheriff’s office could continue to use them in the same manner for larger crimes, but if their numbers are constantly added up, there is also the chance to sell them off. The fiat profits could be then used for something else in the organization and so forth. In any case, the use of a digital currency that is non-governmental is clearly completely possible in the US, even by government-sanctioned agencies.
The Future of Government Crypto Use
The phenomenon of cryptocurrency is not going anywhere. Today, the number of users is constantly growing and expanding, even though this process often has an uneven pace. People all over the world engage in ETH purchases, BTC online betting, monero investments and so much more. The trend is not going to suddenly go away.
It is clear that the governments have a problem with an overall means of regulating this market. There are no easy solutions for that dilemma and the regulatory gears will have to continue to churn on that issue.
Yet, at the same time, the example like the one from Florida show that there is another layer to the debate and here, the processes are both practical and implementable. These might not sum up into an overall or top-down cryptocurrency acceptance in a particular country or even US state, but they are moving the debate forward.
Not only that, they are also moving the public opinion towards the perspective that cryptocurrencies are not something odd or foreign, but a very useful addition to the current financial system. Eventually, this will lead to higher rates of cryptocurrency adoption, which is a win-win setup for everyone involved.