Portsmouth Becomes Latest US City to Allow Bills to Be Paid in Crypto

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will become the latest city to allow its residents to pay their bills in cryptocurrency.

Deaglan McEachern, the city’s mayor, proposed the idea to city officials, who feel it will provide residents with more payment choices.

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“There’s waves of new things that are going to affect us in terms of our future that use the type of technology used in cryptocurrency,” McEachern said. “I want to make sure Portsmouth is not waiting around to see how this is going to affect us in the future because it’s already affecting us.”

Plymouth residents cannot yet make payments directly to the city using crypto, instead, they will need to use PayPal, a vendor the city has been using for several months, said revenue administrator Nancy Bates.

“City customers who have cryptocurrency stored in their PayPal account can now make payments to the city using that cryptocurrency when they choose PayPal as their payment method, said Bates in a memo to City Manager Karen Conard. “This new payment method has no impact on the city’s financial practices as the cryptocurrency is converted to U.S. currency by PayPal before it is sent to our payment processor.”

Mayor McEachern’s choice to include crypto payment was borne out of the desire to “create more ways to pay bills” and to enable greater participation. 

Portsmouth is a small city, so adoption will be scalable

He added that as a small city, Portsmouth’s adoption of the asset will be nimble and easily scalable. Furthermore, the Mayor disclosed that he has been fascinated with the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies and has requested for his $500 election bonus to be paid in cryptocurrencies.

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He adds that in the near future, the adoption of cryptocurrency payments will provide help to the unbanked in America and be “transformational for financial services” 

PayPal first announced that it was turning to cryptocurrencies in 2020, making it one of the biggest adoption stories that year. Dan Schulman, PayPal’s CEO noted that the introduction was geared towards boosting the “understanding, redemption and interoperability of these new instruments of exchange.”

Race is on for other U.S. cities to accept crypto

Several cities across the US are turning to cryptocurrencies with Colorado and California in pole position. At the ETHDenver conference, Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis, announced his intention for the state to become the first digital state in the United States. “We expect by this summer to accept crypto for all of our state tax-related purposes,” he said.

And last month a bill was presented to the California State Legislature that “would authorize a state agency to accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment for the provision of government services.” 

A Crypto.com survey indicates that 60% of merchants will accept cryptocurrencies before the end of 2022.


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