Major U.S. furniture retailer Overstock announced that it will pay taxes in bitcoin for the Ohio-based portion of its business under the state’s novel taxpayer platform, Ohiocrypto.com.
Leading Crypto Adoption
The 34th largest U.S. state by area, Ohio, became the first state to introduce tax payments via bitcoin in November 2018. The law extends to workers across all sectors and covers taxes from tobacco sales, employee withholding, and public utilities.
Overstock announced Jan. 3rd that starting February 2019 it will pay its commercial activity taxes (CAT) via bitcoin. This marks the first instance of a major American retailer adopting cryptocurrencies for tax payments. Founder Patrick Bryne notes the firm is “proud to partner with forward-thinking governments.”
Bryne added that governmental adoption of cryptocurrencies, accompanied by “non-restrictive” legislation over emerging technologies, such as blockchain, is the way forward for ensuring the U.S. does not lose out in the global economy. Countries like Malta, Singapore, Germany, and Japan are leading the integration of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in their existing infrastructure. China placed blockchain at the forefront of its ambitious Five-Year Plan and even stated the technology has the potential to be “20 times more disruptive” than the internet.
Meanwhile, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel expressed his appreciation of Overstock’s move:
“We applaud Overstock for becoming the first national brand in America to register to pay taxes via cryptocurrency. Their embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time and we’re proud to have them join OhioCrypto.com.”
Overstock is seemingly pro-crypto. In 2014, the company was the first retailer to accept cryptocurrencies for all purchases on its website. Later that year, it launched Medici Ventures—a wholly-owned subsidiary that invests in and develops blockchain-based solutions for eliminating middlemen, democratizing capital, and “rehumanizing” commerce in existing industries. The venture handles over 19 businesses today that use the blockchain to reduce friction in capital markets, identity, supply chain, voting, and banking.
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