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I guess if they convert in real time it doesn't matter, it's just a gimmick, they get dollars. Let Ohio accept Bitcoin and keep them...they wont.

In what way is it a gimmick? Ohio seems to be taking the stance that folks may want to pay in bitcoin, so they're offering that as a payment option. Whether they take the bitcoin and convert it into something else doesn't seem to impact that.

Why not accept gold too then? Some people may want to pay their taxes in gold. I'm curious how much money was spent to get this system in place, and what the plan is when the bitcoins are then in the Ohio treasury, especially if the price continues to drop on BTC.

This plan doesn't cause Ohio to hold any bitcoins in their treasury: they're reconciling them for USD at time-of-payment via BitPay.

And sure, they could support paying in all kinds of things. But Bitcoin has a decent wave of popularity among humans, so they're taking a swing at supporting it, similarly to how a variety of online retailers have. It seems like a weird case to see them add support for a popular method of payment and respond "but why not gold".

There's also a concern of practicality and pragmatism. Gold can't be sent electronically; USD and BTC can. Liquidity is a pretty strong reason.

The point I was making (though I didn't really say) was not that gold should be used, but that someone can simply convert their own BTC via the normal means to USD and then pay with that, same as you could sell your gold. Why even offer this service? Are there REALLY enough people interested in paying their taxes in BTC that this service is in any way worth providing?

> someone can simply convert their own BTC via the normal means to USD and then pay with that, same as you could sell your gold

I don't know if you've tried to sell gold, but it's a little bit more involved and difficult than exchanging BTC/USD

But that's what this service seems to be doing, right? BitPay's raison d'etre seems to be that service exactly.

Edit: misread the parent comment.

Not sure I understand your question. BitPay exchanges BTC for USD, not Gold for USD. Gold typically requires a physical exchange of goods, and can't be done electronically.

I originally misread your comment.

haha cool, no problem. Thanks for the discussion btw :-)

You can also own gold through an ETF or some other vehicle, which is pretty easy to trade.

> Why even offer this service?

As stated in the article, it's one of several symbolic gestures being made in an effort to market the state as “tech friendly”.

How does this accomplish that though? What tech people are trying to pay their taxes in BTC? The best way to make your state more attractive to tech business is to improve schools and services that actually affect people, not offer bizarre programs like this. I very clearly have priors that I think this is absurd, so maybe I'm just not looking at things charitably. I just don't get who this is for, and I expect it to be underused when it comes tax time.

> Why not accept gold too then?

Because as the article states explicitly this is a “tech friendly” image generating marketing stunt; accepting gold doesn't serve that purpose.

Umm, why not?

If Ohio wants to go through the process of allowing alternative commodities to be accepted as payment, then good for them?

They are using BitPay, they get dollars, so it's a gimmick. "Receive settlement for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash directly to your bank account in your own currency, with zero price volatility or risk."

You're just repeating yourself.

If the headline said "Ohio switches all operations to be Bitcoin-only" and then the fineprint said "we're turning all the bitcoin into USD immediately using BitPay", that would be a "gimmick".

They said "we're going to let businesses pay taxes via bitcoin", and they are. What do the businesses care if they convert the bitcoins to USD, gold, or chickens immediately after?

With the instability of Bitcoin prices it would be insane to keep them. If the Bitcoin price drops they would lose a ton of money and would have to get that back somehow.

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