A state legislature in New York has introduced legislation that would make it legal for state agencies to accept cryptocurrency payments for taxes, fines, and other “financial obligations.”
State Assembly Bill A2532 was introduced last week by Rep. Clyde Vanel, who was previously part of a state taskforce to study how cryptocurrencies can be regulated and used in New York.
The bill is broad in its explanations, stating only that any state agency has the right to make its own arrangements with individuals to make payments in cryptocurrency for “fines, civil penalties, rent, rates, taxes, fees, charges, revenue, to accept “financial obligations” or other amounts, including penalties, special assessments and interest, owed by government agencies.”
The bill also gives state agencies the okay to pay the fees needed to add transactions to the blockchain they are stored on (the bill allows for payment via currencies “including but not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum , Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash”). , which can get pretty expensive.
It also allows government agencies, optionally, to require that cryptocurrency payees “pay a service fee to the government – including any fees owed by the government to the cryptocurrency issuer in relation to that transaction.” In other words, make sure you pay those tax bills on days when blockchain activity is slow.
New York: Not exactly the crypto state
New York became the first state in the US to ban bitcoin mining in late 2022, when Governor Kathy Hochul issued a two-year moratorium on new mining activity in the state to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It also has rules requiring cryptocurrency businesses to be licensed in the state and has been widely viewed as anti-technology. Vanel has tabled the same bill four times since 2017. Each time it was referred to committee and never brought out, so keep that in mind. The bill would also need to clear the state senate and assembly.
Vanel didn’t say if he had better hopes for this attempt, but he did tell us that getting crypto into the hands of every government agency payment processor isn’t necessarily his goal. He’s trying to make it easier for people who owe money to the state to pay it, he told us.
“I’m dealing with some state agencies that still don’t accept credit cards; others still only accept payments in cash and postal orders,” said Vanel The registry. “States should be able to use the methods of value exchange that people use today.”
These exchange methods include other forms of electronic payment like peer-to-peer money transfer apps Venmo, PayPal, ApplePay, and the like. Vanel also submitted bills to see if the government could accept payments through these channels as well.
I’m dealing with some state agencies that still don’t accept credit cards
Vanel told us that depending on how this legislation turns out, he might not even push his crypto initiative too much. “I’m trying to fill financial gaps by getting the state to accept payments the same as the rest of the world. Once we get there, we can figure out how to use different types of digital currencies,” Vanel said.
In other government-related blockchain news, California recently announced plans to place vehicle titles on a private blockchain. Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister, no not the last but Boris Johnson, told a group of blockchain enthusiasts in Singapore that the technology still hasn’t found a good reason for its existence. ®