Ohio has suspended the ability for businesses to pay their taxes in Bitcoin, 10 months after the program was introduced. This follows a review of the program in February following a change in state treasurer, and comes after only 10 businesses took up the offer of Bitcoin payments. There is however a chance that the platform could be reintroduced in the future, meaning that all is not lost for Ohioan Bitcoin fans.
Ohio’s Blockchain Snub
Ohio’s BitPay-operated Bitcoin payment platform, OhioCrypto.com, was much lauded by then-treasurer Josh Mandel, who wanted to use the method to promote transparency as well as having designs on turning Ohio into a fabled ‘blockchain hub’. Mandel’s replacement Robert Sprague, who took office in January, cast doubt on the project as early as February however when he stated that his team were looking into the project to see if it was still viable. An update posted to the treasury website on Wednesday confirmed Bitcoin fans’ worst fears as the platform was officially suspended, although the reason has nothing to do with Bitcoin itself but more to do with Ohio laws surrounding third party financial institutions:
Upon internal review, the Ohio Treasurer’s Office believes OhioCrypto.com falls under the definition of a “financial transaction device,” as outlined in Section 113.40 of the Ohio Revised Code. As such, the office also believes the third-party payment processor should have been authorized by the Board of Deposit, which consists of the Attorney General, Auditor of State, and Treasurer of State.
Light at the End of the Tunnel for Bitcoin Fans
Following the suspension of the platform, the case will now be sent to the Attorney General’s office for a “formal opinion as to whether or not the payment method facilitated by BitPay constitutes a “financial transaction device” under Ohio law.” The update does include a crumb of comfort for crypto fans as Sprague is described as being “committed to embracing innovative new technologies and processes that will continue to advance Ohio into the future.” Whether these innovative new technologies include Bitcoin only time will tell.