A city in North Dakota is joining the race to adopt cryptocurrencies in the United States by starting to accept cryptocurrencies.
Hercules Cummings, Williston Chief Financial Officer, announced Thursday that the city has partnered with BitPay cryptocurrency company to start accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) to pay bills.
“We have partnered with BitPay, the largest virtual payment merchant that includes Microsoft and Facebook. We are the first municipality in North Dakota and the third in the country to offer this service,” the city said.
Cummings said the value of the bills will often be the only bills eligible for payment in cryptocurrency, adding that the city will conduct quality assessments to expand the new way of paying bills, such as licenses and permit dumps. The new payment method is in line with the city’s desire to explore more payment methods to keep pace with existing payment methods and to enable contactless payments.
“There are a number of benefits to using these online payment methods as well, including safety, convenience and cost savings,” said Cummings. According to the ad, BitPay charges a 1% fee to pay bills online, compared to a 3% fee for paying through services like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
Williston residents can visit the city’s official website and provide account information to receive a BitPay account. The announcement states that people can create a digital wallet to pay directly using BitPay or other services such as the cryptocurrency exchange.
Several US states are currently considering enacting cryptocurrency-friendly legislation. Earlier this week, lawmakers in Nebraska backed an initiative that would allow state-owned banks to process cryptocurrency. The mayor of Jackson, Tennessee, has launched a campaign to pay wages to the public in bitcoin and provide cryptocurrency to the city’s balance sheet, mirroring similar proposals in Miami, Florida.
As of May 2021, 46 million Americans, or 17% of the adult population in America, own bitcoin, according to data compiled by Newsweek. According to a previous study on Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, only 14% of the US population, or about 21 people. One million adults carry cryptocurrencies by the end of 2020.