Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, viewed as an early favorite for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination (should Donald Trump not run again), is doing some early work to reach the Bitcoin demographic. https://apple.news/A9EBLlEFuT26laeTQcrVVhg
At a signing ceremony Tuesday for a bill to mandate high school financial literacy classes, DeSantis said: “I’ve told the state agencies to figure out ways where if a business wants to pay tax in cryptocurrency to Florida, we should be willing to accept that.”
He added: “We will accept Bitcoin, we’re working on doing that, for payments in the state of Florida.”
Florida’s largest city, Miami, has been active on the cryptocurrency front. Under the leadership of Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami has actively courted crypto firms to South Florida, most notably Blockchain.com. Crypto exchange FTX has also planted a flag there, last year securing naming rights to the Miami Heat arena. Suarez has even been taking some of his pay in Bitcoin, and the city is studying the possibility of paying state workers in BTC as well.
Prior to that, the Seminole County Tax Office, which covers the Orlando area, began accepting cryptocurrency payments in 2018 via BitPay. That deal turned somewhat sour after the county tax collector, who later was caught up in a Justice Department probe into sex trafficking involving Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, pleaded guilty to using county funds to start his own blockchain company.
But the state government has mostly been along for the ride, ceding potential territory to states such as Wyoming and Colorado, which boast a proactive legislature and pro-crypto governor, respectively. Wyoming passed a slew of blockchain-friendly laws back in 2019, which are starting to bear fruit. Several crypto custodial firms have secured state banking charters there—the first in the U.S.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis, not wanting to lose the rivalry with his state’s neighbor to the north, helped pass a provision allowing Coloradans to pay taxes in crypto by the end of this year. He said the plan is to expand that to other state fees and licenses—though it won’t hold any crypto assets it receives, instead converting them to dollars.
With plenty of new crypto firms coming to the state thanks to Suarez’s efforts, it makes sense for Florida to do the same.