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North Dakota's Williston To Start Accepting Cryptocurrency For Utility Bills

May 17, 2021 9:59 am
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North Dakota's Williston To Start Accepting Cryptocurrency For Utility Bills

Bitcoin’s (CRYPTO: BTC) retracement to $44,000 hasn’t stopped the broader adoption of cryptocurrency across the U.S.

What Happened: City of Williston in North Dakota said it would accept cryptocurrency as payment for utility bills since June 2021.

 “We are the first municipality in the State of North Dakota, and the third in the nation, to offer this service,” Hercules Cummings, Williston's Finance Director, explained on the city’s official website.

The city has partnered with Bitcoin service provider BitPay to facilitate these crypto transactions.

Citizens would be able to use their funds from crypto exchanges like Binance and Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ: COIN) to make payments locked in at a particular exchange rate while shielded from volatility risks.

Why It Matters: “We are exploring more payment methods to keep pace with existing payment alternatives, deliver to a growing customer demand, and cater to users of all types,” stated Cummings.

“There are also a number of advantages to utilizing these online payment methods including security, convenience, and cost savings.”

The cost savings Cummings is referring to is the one percent fee charged by BitPay for online cryptocurrency payments, as opposed to Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google Pay, Apple Inc's (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple Pay, and Paypal Holdings Inc's (NASDAQ: PYPL) that charge three percent for online digital payments.

So far, utility bills are the only bills eligible to be paid with cryptocurrency, but the city plans to add more to this list after evaluating the quality and volume of transactions. Bills relating to landfills, permits, and licenses are supposedly next in line for consideration.

What Else: Williston joins a list of cities in the U.S that have moved towards using the relatively newer asset class of cryptocurrency in more mainstream functions.

Earlier this year, Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez proposed accepting tax payments in Bitcoin, as well as investing a portion of the cities funds in the leading digital asset.

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