The small town of Innisfil becomes the first in North America to accept Bitcoin payments for municipal taxes (property taxes and income taxes) starting this April.
Coinberry founder and CEO Andrei Poliakov said the exchange has been discussing with officials for several months after the Blockchain Association of Canada’s Kyle Kemper bridged the public and private entities. On March 27, a live hearing was held to pass the initiative, and according to Poliakov, it went off without a hitch.
“The staff, councils, and mayor of the town of Innisfil are extremely forward thinking and innovative,” Poliakov revealed. “Coinberry approached the town with a proposal to start accepting property taxes in cryptocurrency and, after several months of discussions, we were able to make Bitcoin history in Canada yesterday!”
Coinberry will play a fundamental role for the residents of Innisfil who use the new option. Per Poliakov, “payments will be processed through Coinberry Pay, a cryptocurrency payment processing solution developed by Coinberry for use by municipalities, charities, merchants and individuals looking to accept payments, donations or tips in cryptocurrency.”
Coinberry hosts the payment solution, but taxpayers need to go through a government website to settle their taxes. After processing the payment, Coinberry will convert it into Canadian dollars and then send it to the municipal government of Innisfil.
“The goal with Coinberry Pay in general, and with the current initiative specifically, is to bring about the mass adoption of cryptocurrency as a method of payment in Canada,” Poliakov noted. “We are in discussion with a number of parties both within government and the private sector to utilize our solution. Our goal at Coinberry is to make crypto simple—we will continue to expand our cryptocurrency payment processing service to municipalities and other government agencies in the near future. We truly believe in the benefits of mass adoption of cryptocurrency and are working very hard to make that a reality.”
Initially, Bitcoin will be the only crypto option for residents to remove the fiat tax barrier. Poliakov said Coinberry Pay will soon include Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ripple, and Litecoin.
The move is a notable victory for the crypto industry and Canadian citizens. With a municipal government deciding to trust both Bitcoin and Coinberry, the sector and its flagship asset are a step closer to achieving better understanding and de-stigmatization with the population in general.
In a press release, Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin stated: “Once again, we are proud to be first in taking this bold step by offering this new, exciting payment option to our residents. There’s no doubt that cryptocurrency is growing in usage and popularity. By getting into this now, we are making sure our municipality is ahead of the game, and signalling to the world that we truly are a future-ready and innovative community.”