📖The State of Ohio Will Accept Bitcoin for Tax Payments is today's most popular article, but a more accurate title probably reads: BitPay Will Process Bitcoin on Behalf of the State of Ohio with a 1% Fee Tacked on Then Convert it to Dollars for the State Treasurer’s Office.
Looking beyond the 1% fee, beyond the risk of being additionally taxed for selling bitcoin to convert to USD, and beyond the misleading headline, the value in having the state of Ohio say it "accepts" bitcoin lies in the regularization of bitcoin as a payment option. For many, the practical use case of bitcoin in the real world is questionable at best. Cryptocurrencies are still largely understood to be a form of money used in the alleyways of the internet to buy things on dark net. And it's going to take a lot of pro-crypto PR and socialization to undo that perception. Being able to point to tax payments as a kosher use case gets us one step closer.
Outside of waving the regular This Will Help Adoption flag, this article also helps shred the usual alternative currency script. Garrick Hileman's oft-cited "A History of Alternative Currency" explains the death patterns of around 2000 currencies (outside of crypto). One reason listed is that the currency never graduates from the "alternative" classification.
As long as a currency is in the alternative bucket - which means the government attempted to impose legal restrictions on the use of that currency but failed to eliminate the use of that currency - the financial viability of that currency is dubious. But this article signals that bitcoin's slowly but surely evolving from an alternative currency to a parallel currency which is generally accepted by more vendors as a form of payment and experiences a higher degree of liquidity.
All in all, we won't be impressed until the government pays out tax refunds in bitcoin but, until then, this'll do.
READ OF THE DAY
The Robot Economy Will Run on Blockchain We're a little late to Nautilus, but it's one of the most intellectually expansive science magazines we've read. One thing that helps differentiate the magazine is that its editors are unafraid to tiptoe into traditionally non-scientific waters like literature, fiction, and economics. This article, for instance, provides a futuristic view of an economy made up of robots and where capital is the dominant means of controlling robot behavior.
Peter McCormack (the producer behind the What Bitcoin Did podcast) just released an episode so good we had to create a new section in our newsletter for it. Here is Peter's interview with pro-bitcoin SEC commissioner Hester Pierce on the role of the SEC, how decisions are made behind the scenes, and why she dissented.