Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced yesterday that his office is immediately suspending the OhioCrypto.com site, which was launched last November by former Treasurer Josh Mandel to provide the state’s businesses with an option to pay their taxes using bitcoin.
According to a statement on the Ohio Treasurer website, Sprague recommended that the State Board of Deposit seek advice from the state’s Attorney General to determine whether the site’s BitPay payment processing method should be considered a “financial transaction device.” If so, then it’s possible that the site’s creation may not have met the stringent requirements of Ohio law”
Since Treasurer Sprague took office in January, his staff has been reviewing the creation and operation of OhioCrypto.com. Based on this internal review, the Ohio Treasurer’s office believes the third-party payment processor, BitPay, is functioning as a “financial transaction device” and, therefore, should have been selected through a competitive selection process and authorized by the State Board of Deposit (Ohio Revised Code §113.40).
While Prague stressed the importance of ensuring that Oho continues to explore new technologies and innovative processes, he suggested that it’s his duty to make sure that any new innovations are implemented the right way:
“As Ohio Treasurer, it’s my job to provide trusted stewardship and protection of Ohio’s tax dollars, and to follow the laws of this state. Until a formal opinion is issued by the Attorney General, I feel it is prudent to suspend the website.”