Overstock.com Inc, a leading global online retailer of discount homeware and apparel, will become the first major US company to pay a portion of its taxes in Bitcoin. The company, which has a history of involvement with breakthrough blockchain technologies, will pay part of its Ohio state taxes in the popular cryptocurrency. The state recently launched an online cryptocurrency platform OhioCrypto.com to facilitate the use of digital currencies in the payment of state taxes.
Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel, who is overseeing the introduction of the first-of-its-kind platform, said: “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.”
The Ohio government launched OhioCrypto.com in November 2018, which currently only accepts Bitcoin, although the treasurer’s office is reportedly “looking forward to adding other cryptocurrencies in the future.” Upon receipt of Bitcoins, the Ohio treasury immediately converts the digital currency into US$ through its partnership with BitPay. Mandel said in an Ohio Government press release: "We are proud to make Ohio the first state in the nation to accept tax payments via cryptocurrency. We're doing this to provide Ohioans more options and ease in paying their taxes and also to project Ohio's leadership in embracing blockchain technology."
Overstock.com began accepting cryptocurrency payments in its online store in 2014 and also founded Medici Ventures, a “wholly-owned blockchain subsidiary focused on applying blockchain technologies to existing industries to eliminate middlemen, democratize capital, and rehumanize commerce.”
“We have long thought that thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies (when accompanied by non-restrictive legislation over these technologies) is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy,” said Overstock CEO and founder Patrick M. Byrne. “We are proud to partner with forward-thinking governments and officials like Ohio and Treasurer Mandel to help usher in an era of trust through technology for our nation’s essential financial systems.”