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News Report

Gold Coast Mayor Proposes Allowing Bitcoin for Property Tax Payments

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price

In Brief

  • Mayor Tom Tate of Gold Coast suggested allowing bitcoin as a means of payment for council rates.
  • The council has seen rates increase by 4%, the highest in ten years.
  • Other governance bodies around the world are also considering allowing bitcoin for payments.
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The mayor of Australia’s Gold Coast has suggested that citizens should be allowed to pay their property taxes in bitcoin. 

Mayor Tom Tate has said that it would send a positive signal to younger ratepayers.

Rates in the Gold Coast region have increased by 4% this year, the highest in 10 years. Mayor Tate is interested in bringing in younger citizens, saying that cryptocurrencies would send a signal to this demographic. 

“Why can’t we pay rates in cryptocurrency if the risk is not high. The volatility is not that bad. It sends a signal that we’re innovative and brings 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,” he said.

Others are less enthusiastic about the change, with one academic saying the potential adoption would need more research. One member of a national blockchain group said that the council would need to consider its risk appetite before going through with the decision. He noted that that market was volatile, and that would have an impact on the funds.

Adam Poulton, chairman of Blockchain Australia, said the council could instead accept 95% of a rates bill in Australian dollars and the remaining 5% in cryptocurrency.

“We’re happy to risk that other 5% and actually hold that and see what future use cases could be used with it,” he said.

“But there’s a lot of stuff you have to become familiar with to use and interact with cryptocurrency in a safe way to protect your financial wealth.”

The Gold Coast is not the only jurisdiction considering allowing the paying of local property tax in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. A Tennessee mayor has also considered allowing bitcoin for property tax payments – a positive sign of growing adoption.

Bitcoin and crypto gaining adoption

Bitcoin and crypto, in general, continue to be met with skepticism by governments and most financial institutions. That said, both El Salvador and the Central African Republic have legalized bitcoin, a decision that has worried some. 

However, recent developments suggest a slow but steady acceptance from established entities around the world.


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