Overstock to Pay a 'Portion' of Its Taxes Using Bitcoin in Ohio

Cryptocurrency-friendly online retailer Overstock, which has been accepting bitcoin payments since 2014, has recently revealed through an announcement on its investor portal that it will pay ‘a portion’ of its taxes using cryptocurrency in Ohio.

According to the announcement, the retail giant is using Ohio’s recently-launched OhioCrypto.com, a portal that allows taxpayers to pay taxes using the flagship cryptocurrency, to pay its commercial activity taxes (CAT) in Ohio.

Ohio’s initiative was announced back in November, when state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who has been in the office since 2011, revealed he sees bitcoin as a “legitimate form of currency,” and that the program will help Ohio stand out in cryptocurrency adoption.

The move will make Overstock the first business to pay its taxes in bitcoin. Commenting on it Patrick Byrne, the company’s founder and CEO, revealed Overstock was “proud to partner” with the state’s government and officials to “help usher in an era of trust through technology for our nation’s essential financial systems.”

We have long thought that thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies (when accompanied by non-restrictive legislation over these technologies) is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy.

Ohio’s crypto initiative lets businesses and taxpayers pay in bitcoin b signing up on its OhioCrypto.com website, entering tax details, and sending over the payments using BTC. Before the Ohio Treasurer gets the funds, they go through BitPay, which converts them to USD.

In Overstock’s announcement, Mandel noted the state applauds the company’s move for “becoming the first national brand in America to register to pay taxes via cryptocurrency. Their embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time and we’re proud to have them join OhioCrypto.com.”

The online retailer has been heavily involved in the crypto space since 2014. It has launched a subsidiary, Medici Ventures, which sees it invest in blockchain companies, and it’s also developing a security token trading platform, tZERO.

Last year, the company revealed it’s planning on selling its decades-old retail business so it can go “all-in” on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. This would leave it with its Medici Ventures subsidiary and some funds, and at the time the announcement saw the prices of stock plummet.

Bitcoin Mining Pool Tries to Help Tone Vays Win $10K Bet Against Roger Ver

Cryptocurrency mining pool SlushPool has recently manually added a BTC transaction into a block to help Tone Vays, a derivatives trader and analyst, win a wager mage against BCH proponent Roger Ver.

The wager was made at the 2019 Malta AI & Blockchain Summit, during a debate between bitcoin (BTC) proponent Tone Vays and Bitcoin.com CEO and BCH advocate Roger Ver. In it, Ver argued BTC transactions are too expensive for business use due to the cryptocurrency’s small block size.

Vays, on the other hand, argued segregated witness (SegWit) and second-layer scaling solutions like the Lightning Network allow users to make small transactions without paying high fees, and that he has been using BTC on-chain without paying too much for transactions.

The debate ended up seeing Vays send Roger Ver $5 worth of BTC with a one satoshi per byte transactions fee – equal to the fees paid on the Bitcoin Cash chain – to see if it would confirm the same day. If it did, the CEO of Bitcoin.com claimed he would donate $10,000 to a charity of Vays’ choice.

During the debate, both parties noted the transaction was “priority 23,836 out of 24,355 transactions,” meaning that most transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain had to clear before miners picked that one up, at least according to fees paid for transactions.

As Vays soon noted on social media the transaction cleared after 10 hours. Some, however, found it strange. Cobra Bitcoin, the pseudonymous co-owner of Bitcoin.org and Bitcointalk, pointed out on social media that SlushPool – the mining pool that found the block the transaction was included in – manually added it to help Vays win the bet.

Cobra Bitcoin figured it wasn’t mined “naturally” as it was the second transaction included in the block – right after the coinbase transaction – despite the fee being less than 1% of that of all other transactions included in the block.

On Reddit, users pointed this out and accused SlushPool of manually adding the transaction. The mining pool, according to some users, is known for supporting BTC and being against Bitcoin Cash.

Should Roger Ver Pay?

The wager quickly became a controversial topic that seems to bring back memories of the scaling debate that was going on before Bitcoin Cash forked off of the Bitcoin network back in August of 2017.

Some argue that Roger Ver’s point stands as the transaction wasn’t “naturally” confirmed, but manually included in a block. Moreover the CEO of Bitcoin.com claimed he’d donate the money if it confirmed that day, and when the transaction did confirm it was past midnight in Malta.

On the other hand, some claim the transaction did go through anyway, and as such Roger Ver should donate the funds to a charity of Tone Vays’ choice. Moreover, Vays himself argued BCH supporters could have spammed the BTC mempool with two satoshis per byte transactions to stop his from clearing on time.

On Twitter, Vays created a poll that was retweeted by SlushPool and admitted the mining pool did prioritize the transaction. It currently shows most users believe Roger Ver should donate the funds. As one commenter pointed out, however, the results may change if Ver and other BCH supporters retweet the poll.