Ohio businesses cannot pay taxes using bitcoin anymore; OhioCrypto.com website suspended
Thu, 03 Oct 2019, 17:19 pm UTC
Less than a year since launching, the State of Ohio has suspended its online portal that allows businesses to pay their taxes using bitcoin.
Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced the immediate suspension of the OhioCrypto.com website. The move was voted by the elected officials on the Board of Deposit, a state panel that oversees the state’s banking and financial methods.
Sprague requested that the website be reviewed after raising questions on how it was implemented by his predecessor Josh Mandel. He claimed that the payment-processing contract to run the website should have undergone competitive bidding under the state law. Mandel’s office reportedly did not place the program on the administrative rule-making process of the state.
“It was stood up very quickly,” he said as quoted by Cleveland.com.
However, Sprague made clear that he supports research into blockchain. But he was cautious about whether the website will be relaunched after Attorney General Dave Yost completes his review on the legalities of how it was set up and if BitPay – a third party processor – constituted a “financial transaction device.”
“This is why we’re having this review in a very public forum,” he said.
Sprague also revealed that part of the review will decide if the treasurer’s office can relaunch OhioCrypto.com unilaterally or with approval from the other Board of Deposit members.
“As Ohio Treasurer, it’s my job to provide trusted stewardship and protection of Ohio’s tax dollars, and to follow the laws of this state. Until a formal opinion is issued by the Attorney General, I feel it is prudent to suspend the website,” he said.
So far, the website has already been taken down, and users are redirected to the Treasurer’s main site.
In July, the government in Dublin, Ohio, partnered with Bitcoin Verde to release the first government token using the service ledger protocol (SLP) that will reportedly be built on the Bitcoin Cash network.
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