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Overstock To Pay Taxes in Bitcoin

Now, if only there were a wholesale discount on taxes....

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No one likes taxes, but at least now you won’t have to cash out to pay them. Overstock.com has recently announced its intention to pay some of its state business taxes in Bitcoin, using the newly-announced government platform for crypto payments.

In a press release issued yesterday, the Utah-based online retailer announced plans to pay its Ohio Commercial Activity Taxes in Bitcoin, using the official payment platform OhioCrypto.com. Using the platform, companies can use Bitcoin to pay 23 different types of state taxes, ranging from tobacco and cars to sales tax.

Overstock has already established a reputation as one of Bitcoin’s earliest corporate adopters, having launched BTC support in 2014. In 2017 the company extended its support to other altcoins, and also supported the launch of blockchain fund Medici Ventures.

“We have long thought that thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies…is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy,” said Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. “We are proud to partner with forward-thinking governments and officials like Ohio and Treasurer Mandel to help usher in an era of trust through technology for our nation’s essential financial systems.”    


Adoption One Company -Or State- At A Time

It’s also a feather for the cap of a state which has been eager to prove itself as a starting ground for blockchain technology, having supported several startup initiatives in Ohio’s leading cities.

“We applaud Overstock for becoming the first national brand in America to register to pay taxes via cryptocurrency,” said Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. “Their embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time and we’re proud to have them join OhioCrypto.com.”

But don’t get too excited about the Buckeye State becoming a Bitcoin hodler. As the taxpayer platform makes clear, “at no point will the Treasurer’s office hold cryptocurrency.”

Instead, bitcoin tax payments are processed “through our third party cryptocurrency payment processor partner BitPay, [and] are immediately converted to USD before being deposited into a state account.”

That might be a bit disappointing for those maximalists who were hoping for true state adoption. But it’s still a score for Bitpay, a crypto payments provider which is proving its usefulness to crypto and non-crypto users alike.

It’s also a win for crypto, albeit less directly. As numerous economists, including Paul Krugman, have pointed out, the “use-case” for fiat is paying taxes: “fiat currencies have underlying value because men with guns say they do.”

The fact that at least a few men with guns acknowledge that Bitcoin might have value is another inching half-step towards official recognition – or even adoption.

And the Ohio government is not shy about the connection. “Ohio has become the first state in the United States, and one of the first governments in the world, to accept cryptocurrency,” say the platform’s website. “From mom and pop coffee shops to Fortune 100 companies, businesses now have the ability to pay their taxes with OhioCrypto.com.”

 

The author is invested in Bitcoin, which is mentioned in this article. 

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