The state of Ohio today became the first US administration to accept payments in bitcoin, a cryptocurrency created on the internet that uses a universal money exchange system and that until now had not been backed by any government or financial institution.
The approval of this currency as a new form of payment valid in Ohio comes just a week after the price of the bitcoin fell 16% to its minimum of this year 2018, a period in which it has lowered 65% its value.
However, different businesses in Ohio will now be able to pay their taxes -from tobacco sales tax rates to the taxation of their employees- in this cryptocurrency with the only requirement to register on the "OhioCrypto.com" portal, according to the media. local.
The idea of accepting digital currency to pay public fees came from state treasurer Josh Mandel, who considered it a "positive system for the taxpayer" and an "opportunity" for Ohio to embrace the adoption of these new modalities of economic exchange.
"I see in the bitcoin a legitimate currency", defended Mandel in statements collected by the economic newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ in English).
This cryptocurrency, the most used in purely digital payment systems, lacks a single central bank or administrator and is based on a universal exchange protocol called "blockchain" or "chain of blocks", which functions as an accounting and public book whose security lies in the fact that the information is shared among all its users and is difficult to falsify.
Although in the beginning it aroused great expectations and its value increased, several agencies of the US Government, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, have advised against investing in this currency for "fraud risks" and "speculative" character.
Also the European Banking Authority (EBA, in English) alerted in 2013 of the lack of regulation and the volatility of the bitcoin price.
Although the Ohio movement will not bring the bitcoin a legal status, it is a precedent in the approval of cryptocurrencies as an official payment system.
That state will use a system to change the bitcoins to dollars once they reach their Treasury, despite their commitment to validate a currency that is not dispensed by the US Government.
Currently, a bitcoin equals $ 3,730, while on the same dates a year ago, its unit price was $ 9,401.