The city of Chandler, Arizona is allowing residents to pay their utility bills with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Chandler, AZ Is Making Crypto Mainstream
The move is considered a huge boost to the digital currency space given that many of the assets listed above were initially designed to serve as payment tools for goods and services. When they first emerged on the scene, these assets were built to push credit cards, checks, and fiat currencies to the side and serve as primary payment methods, though this journey has been rocky given that many of them come with heavy volatility.
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Their prices swing up and down. This means companies are at risk of potentially losing profit. Thus, they have said “no” many times to crypto payments. To an extent, we can’t really blame them. Consider the following scenario: someone walks into a store and pays for $50 worth of merchandise with bitcoin. For one reason or another, the business does not convert the crypto into fiat currency and 24 hours go by. The price of BTC goes down and that $50 turns into $30. While the customer gets to keep all they bought, the company has lost money in the end. Is this a fair situation? Not everyone thinks so.
Chandler is now making it so that crypto can be taken seriously as a payment tool. Mark Stewart – a councilman for the city of Chandler – commented in an interview:
We’re planting seeds for trees that are going to be grown 10, 20 years from now. I can guarantee you we pay over a million dollars in credit card fees annually. That’s a park for one of our neighborhoods. There’s a lot that can be done if we save that money. We won’t be assuming any risks for any volatility for any cryptocurrency evaluation.
Customers looking to pay with crypto can do so through PayPal. They must select the crypto option which is automatically displayed as a payment method during the checkout process. If the person in question has enough crypto in their account to cover their bills, they can select crypto to cover whatever utilities are due.
PayPal Will Handle Conversions
Dawn Lang – the city’s deputy city manager and chief financial officer – explained that this option has been available to residents since March. She said:
They handle the conversion of the cryptocurrency payment and send the city the value of the payment in dollars, thereby eliminating any market volatility risk for Chandler. If they choose cryptocurrency, it will convert those into dollars based on the market value at that point. It’s a very small fee compared to the credit card fee and the city has absorbed that through our utility services area.
Chandler is one of the first cities in Arizona to offer crypto payment options to citizens.
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