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Seminole County, Florida Embraces Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Payments

Seminole County, Florida Embraces Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Payments

Reading Time: 2 minutes by on May 15, 2018 Bitcoin, Finance, News
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Residents of Seminole county in Florida can now pay their taxes with bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Seminole becomes the first county to accept payments in bitcoin cash and bitcoin in the United States.

Joel Greenberg, the State tax collector, announced the County would begin using BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment processor, to receive payments starting June 2018.

Source: SeminoleTax

Seminole residents will be able to make an array of payments using virtual currencies including property taxes as well as fees relating to tags, driver’s license, titles and ID cards.

Digital Currencies: Ideal Choice

From his statement, Greenberg seemed to appreciate cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, the blockchain, as appropriate tech innovations for driving efficient service delivery in the County.

Acknowledging the need to shift to cryptocurrencies, Greenberg highlighted features such as transparency, efficiency, fraud resistance and accuracy that make digital currencies an ideal choice for his office.

“We live in a world where technology has made access to services on demand, and we should expect the same from our government,” his statement read in part.

“The aim of my tenure in office is to make our customer experience faster, smarter, and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century and one way is the addition of cryptocurrency to our payment options.”

Even so, Greenberg’s move to accept cryptocurrency payments seems to be aligned to the commitment he made to his voters in 2016. During the campaigns, he promised the people of Seminole county that he would introduce new technologies.

Growing Interest

For BitPay, the partnership with Seminole County is highly significant because it is the first of its kind for the company.

Jeremie Beaudry, Head of Compliance at BitPay said, “With the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office, we have engaged our first government agency to accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash by making it easy and seamless for them.”

However, Seminole County isn’t the only government office that has taken steps to integrate cryptocurrencies into its payment system.

Earlier in 2018, legislators in states such as Georgia and Arizona proposed laws aimed at allowing payment of state taxes using virtual currencies like bitcoin.

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

Even as Seminole County hopes to utilize BitPay to facilitate fast and cheaper payments for its residents, there are concerns that transactions on the Bitcoin network might be too expensive, even impractical for small amounts.

At the peak of cryptocurrency popularity and price in December 2017, bitcoin transaction costs hit a high of $37 for a single transaction which forced BitPay to disallow purchases below $100.

Currently, a single bitcoin transaction costs about $1.26. In addition to this, Seminole County residents will be expected to cater for a one percent transaction fee payable to BitPay.                                                

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