Now Ohio companies can pay state taxes with bitcoins.
Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel made many people scratch their heads with one of his last actions before leaving office in January. At the end of November, the Northeastern Republican of Ohio began allowing Ohio companies to pay taxes with Bitcoin. The announcement occurred on the same day that the cryptocurrency lost 10% of its value, worsening a decline that began in 2018.
So, why would Mandel go all-in on such an unstable financial product? First, he points out that Ohio will immediately convert Bitcoin tax payments into US dollars to avoid fluctuations. Secondly, he underlines that the embrace of the cryptocurrency by the state concerns both the basic technology of Bitcoin, the blockchain, and the digital money. "We are doing this project to let the rest of the country know that Ohio is noisy and proud to adopt blockchain technology," says Mandel.
In fact, the leaders of Ohio are betting big on the blockchain. While most associate digital register technology with Bitcoin, the software has potential that goes beyond digital money and developers are committed to finding applications in healthcare, finance, real estate and other industries. No other state has embraced the most blockchain of Ohio, says Tony Franco, CEO and co-founder of SafeChain, a Columbus startup that uses blockchain to prevent fraud in real estate transactions. "We are literally in first place and I expect that we will continue to see the benefits of the hard work of our state and local officials over the next 50 years," says Franco.
In addition to the Bitcoin initiative of Mandel, Governor John Kasich signed a law in August that gave records or contracts secured through the legal legitimacy of the blockchain. Other municipalities, including Franklin County, have experimented with technology, while Ohio investors are investing money in blockchain startups. In February, SafeChain raised $ 3 million in venture capital, led by Columbus & NCT Ventures, and during the Blockland conference in early December, Cleveland's JumpStart and several other Ohio accelerators announced plans to invest $ 100 million in early-stage companies using digital ledger technology. "I think we have 100 percent of the ingredients we need in Ohio to take advantage of new advancing technology," says Franco.