Bitcoin Tax Payment Option Should Be A Possibility, Says UK MP Eddie Hughes

News | December 11, 2018 By:

Eddie Hughes, a conservative member (MP) of the UK’s Parliament and Minister for housing, said that the prospect of making payments using bitcoin to local authorities and utility providers should be a possibility, Express UK reported.

Hughes, who considers himself to be a “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” said that since blockchain technology gets a lot of attention, members of the UK parliament should understand what the technology can bring to the community.

“It just feels like it gets talked about a lot, wherever you go in the UK, and as MPs we have a duty to understand it,” he said. “Only recently I met with the RNLI which is now accepting charitable donations through cryptocurrency – if we can do that, what’s to stop us being able to pay council tax and other bills with bitcoin?”

Hughes’ statement came after the US state of Ohio announced last month that it created a crypto portal – OhioCrypto.com – that allows businesses to pay taxes in bitcoin. At the time, Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel said that they started accepting tax payments in bitcoin for two main reasons – first, to give more options and ease to taxpayers in how they pay their taxes, and, second, “to really plant the flag in Ohio and say that Ohio is a place that’s embracing cryptocurrency, and embracing blockchain technology.”

Hughes praised Ohio’s bitcoin tax payment option and said that he would like to see a local authority in the UK “plant a flag” and take the lead in demonstrating how a similar scheme could work in the region.

“I’d love it, and I’d love us to be taking the lead in Walsall,” he said. “You’re either ahead of the curve or you’re behind the curve, and our country is in an interesting position right now – we need to be seen as a progressive country. We are at a crossroads and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove very beneficial.”

Hughes further said that he believes that the wider acceptance of cryptocurrency is being hindered by a lack of information and knowledge.

“People not understanding how the transaction works is holding us back in terms of mass adoption,” he said. “And also how accessible it can be – it needs to appear like an app that people will use so they can become familiar with it in a safe and secure way. People will have seen the select committee saying this sector is the Wild West and it was very low key, and suggested there was a problem with scaling up, and it was something to be avoided, but the reality is quite the opposite.”