Overstock, the US online retailer that also runs multiple blockchain-oriented startups, said today it would pay a portion of its business taxes in Ohio in Bitcoin, as the Amazon rival continues to make way for a full-blown bet on cryptocurrency.
Earlier in November, the state of Ohio opened a cryptocurrency portal that allows businesses to pay 23 different taxes with the digital currency, ranging from cigarette and tobacco to fuel and sales taxes.
Overstock will pay its eligible commercial activity taxes (CAT) via OhioCrypto.com site starting from next month. Businesses interested in paying their taxes in bitcoin can do so after registering with the new website and signing up with crypto payment processor BitPay.
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Overstock’s CEO and founder Patrick Byrne said in November that the company plans to sell its decades-old retail business in the next few months as it intends to focus on its blockchain business. The company already runs a cryptocurrency unit called tZERO as well as a VC subsidiary named Medici Ventures.
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Overstock.com’s tZero plans to launch a securities clearing and settlement platform based on the blockchain that lets companies raise capital with security tokens. The venture, which will capitalize tZero’s regulatory approval to operate as an alternative trading system (ATS), aims to create a way for companies to tokenize equity and issue it on a blockchain without running afoul of regulatory obligations.
Commenting on the news, Byrne said: “We have long thought that thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies (when accompanied by non-restrictive legislation over these technologies) is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy.”
“We applaud Overstock for becoming the first national brand in America to register to pay taxes via cryptocurrency. Their embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time and we’re proud to have them join OhioCrypto.com,” added Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.