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Australian mayor floats paying council rates with cryptocurrency

By Ciaran Lyons
June 9, 2022 0

Cryptocurrency is rapidly becoming integrated into our society as a legitimised form of payment for goods and services. A wide range of items can already be purchased with crypto such as electronics, luxury watches, luxury clothing brands and even cars.

Related reading: Gucci becomes the latest luxury clothing brand to accept cryptocurrency payments last month.

Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, is now challenging other Australian local government officials by arguing that people should be able to pay their council rates with cryptocurrency.

Tate sees a significant advantage with introducing cryptocurrency as a payment option for council rates, one of those being it encourages the younger generation to be innovative and take risks.

“It sends a signal that we’re innovative and bringing in the younger generation … [but] I’m not saying we’re doing it, I’m just saying we’re always looking at the next level” Tate said, speaking to ABC News earlier this week.

Tate added that he wasn’t concerned with the price fluctuations of volatile cryptocurrency, saying “the volatility is not that bad”.

“Why can’t we pay rates on cryptocurrency if the risk is not high?” he said.

ABC News also spoke to Blockchain Australia’s Adam Poulton who was hesitant to show enthusiasm for Tate’s bold suggestion.

“The last thing they’d want to do is accept $2,000 worth of rates, hold it in Bitcoin and for the Bitcoin price to halve,” he said.

Poulton suggested that a council could take a more conservative approach to cryptocurrency payments by accepting “95 per cent of a rates bill in Australian dollars and the remaining five per cent in cryptocurrency.”

Associate Professor Vallipuram Muthukkumarasamy from Griffith University’s School of Information and Communication Technology suggested it’s possible for the council to take cryptocurrency payments in the future, but he was hesitant to support Mr Tate’s idea of implementing crypto payments anytime soon.

“Council rates, it’s open for that, it’s definitively a possibility but then acceptance, verifying the technology and implementing that, are issues.” He said.

Prof. Muthukkumarasamy suggested as the world becomes more educated about cryptocurrency, it will be easier to introduce to households as a payment option for bills.

“A lot of learning needs to happen and the confidence-building needs to happen with that.” He said.


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