You Can Pay Your Utility Bills With Bitcoin Now In This CityMarch 30, 2022 8:29 pm
Recently, a city in Arizona has announced that they will allow residents to pay their utility bills with either Bitcoin or Ethereum indicating that more local governments are starting to embrace crypto.
Chandler, the city that is doing this, will allow residents to use the crypto stored in their PayPal accounts to facilitate the transaction.
With that being said, the transactions are not received by the government in the form of crypto, but the crypto gets converted to fiat first using a payments processor called Invoice Cloud.
At the time of writing, records of how many people used the capability is not yet available, but the city hopes that the number will continue to grow and make the city a hub for crypto innovation.
— CoinDesk (@CoinDesk) March 30, 2022
City Council member Mark Stewart said in a press release that it’s important to serve residents with the newest technology, such as crypto payments. But it was unclear at press time whether anyone in the city of 250,000 had begun using the option.
Chandler is not the first U.S. city to mesh crypto payments with utilities. Mercedes, Texas, voted to research the subject in November, months after Williston, North Dakota, brought its offering online.
Both are orders of magnitude smaller than Chandler, a city of over 273,000.
Chandler’s choice of PayPal means that bill payers can’t use their self-custodied coins. PayPal’s crypto service is a closed loop that doesn’t let digital assets in or out.
PayPal and city officials did not respond to CoinDesk’s questions by press time.
Some other cities and states within the US have also done similar things where they have started to accept crypto for common payments such as taxes and utility bills.
For example, the state of Colorado had become the first state this year to accept crypto for tax payments which was a new milestone for adoption when it comes to digital assets.
However, like the city of Chandler, the government is still only accept fiat currency and that the crypto that residents are paying are processed by a payment processer from crypto to fiat beforehand.
With that being said, the fact that everyday residents now have the ability to utilize a completely different form of currency as payment will likely set the foundation for future adoption.
— Mark Stewart – Chandler, Arizona City Council (@ChandlerAZProud) May 15, 2021
In a statement to the Guardian, Polis’ press secretary, Conor Cahill, called the tax effort the state’s “next logical step on the path to digital statehood”.
New York Mayor Eric Adams will not be able to ride the subway with his cryptocurrency pay.
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“Governor Polis is proud to lead efforts to create a strong and dynamic crypto ecosystem that puts Colorado at the forefront of digital innovation,” Cahill added, pointing out that the state was the very first to employ a “chief blockchain architect” – one of the numerous parties the governor’s office will be working with to process cryptocurrency for taxes.
Investors are speculating that widespread acceptance of crypto will need to increase among the public in order to pressure the government to enforce more crypto friendly regulations.
The recent developments here shows that might not be too far away at this point.
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