If you live in Innisfil, Ont., you can pay your property taxes the old-fashioned way or with Bitcoin. Innisfil is the first town in Canada that will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, reports CTV News.
The lakeshore town teamed up with Toronto-based Coinberry Pay on the one-year pilot project. The cryptocurrency company will be in charge of processing the bitcoin payments.
It’s a modern move for the municipality, which has 36,000 residents and is in line with its risk-taking mentality.
“We developed a bit of a reputation for not being afraid to try new things,” Mayor Lynn Dollin told CTV News Channel.
The town’s forward thinking has already paid off in other ways. For example, it saves approximately $8 million annual in transit costs by partnering with Uber to develop a tax-subsidized, on-demand transit system.
Innisfil is also working on the Rover Parking app, which aims to prevent illegal parking and road obstructions.
Cryptocurrency has had its ups and downs and reached a low point after the country’s biggest exchange, QuadrigaCX, fell apart when the company’s CEO passed away. Still, Dollin insists safety is a top priority.
“We have to be careful – we’re responsible for taxpayers’ dollars,” Dollin explained. “So certainly, we don’t want to bring any risk to the taxpayers.”
Innisfil will not actually hold any of the cryptocurrency used for the payment system; therefore, the town will not deal with the risk involved in a changing market. Any fluctuation in the currency’s value before payment is submitted and processed is the responsibility of the payer.
For example, if a resident sends a payment but Bitcoin’s value drops before it’s deposited into the town’s account, the resident must pay the difference. If the reverse occurs and the value rises, the town will issue a refund for the difference.
It’s unclear whether anyone has yet submitted their property taxes using cryptocurrency for payment.
What else can you buy with Bitcoin? A number of things, including flights and hotels through websites such as Expedia; movies, games and apps from Microsoft; furniture from Overstock; and gold bullion from Sharps Pixley, APMEX, and JM Bullion. You can also fly to space with Virgin Galactic (once the company’s project takes off).