Would Pittsburgh become first municipality to accept Bitcoin?

Let’s Talk Bitcoin reports that recently surfaced document indicates that the city of Pittsburgh may be interested in accepting Bitcoin, a

Let’s Talk Bitcoin reports that recently surfaced document indicates that the city of Pittsburgh may be interested in accepting Bitcoin, a rare move for any government.

The document is a recommendation titled, “Improve Digital Government”. Its recommendations include: the development of a digital point-of-entry for city services; digitizing procurement processes; leverage technology principles to improve business processes; and:

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Build technology and business processes that allow citizens and businesses to pay taxes, fees, and fines online, perhaps becoming the first municipal government to accept digital currency.

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Bitcoin isn’t specified by name. One can probably rule out the intention being electronic forms of fiat, which would be trivial and not warrant the claim of being the first government to accept such currencies. The only other possibility would be a specially created digital currency (Pittsburghcoin?) for local use. Here too, they may not the first: Kingston upon Hull in the UK has sought to launch its HullCoin in an effort to aid its ailing economy.

The document is not dated other than a request for submission to the subcommittee chairperson by Friday, December 27.

It is one thing for a government to be highly supportive of Bitcoin, but another for them to totally accept it. Often, taking the plunge may be considered risky, or the implementation is impeded by layers of bureaucracy.

There may have been another instance of such acceptance last month, when Roger Ver reportedly launched an initiative called “Passports for Bitcoin”. Those interested can supposedly buy citizenship with bitcoins, either through a donation or an investment. However, recent developments have cast doubt over key elements of the story.

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