The Mayor of the Gold Coast, Tom Tate, has proposed to allow the use of bitcoin as a means of paying municipal taxes.

In his third consecutive term as mayor of Australia’s sixth most populous city with a population of around 650,000, Tom Tate is interested in engaging younger citizens and argues that cryptocurrencies would be a signal given to this demographic, especially as rates in the Gold Coast region have risen by 4 per cent this year, the most in 10 years:

“Why can’t we pay fees in cryptocurrencies if the risk is not high? Volatility is not that bad. This is a sign of innovation and reaching out to the younger generation and allowing them to look to the future,” he said.

Of course, not everyone agrees with this possibility, in fact one academic said the potential adoption would need further research. A member of a national blockchain group said the board would need to consider its risk appetite before proceeding with the decision.
He noted that the market is volatile and this would have an impact on funds.

In contrast, Adam Poulton, president of Blockchain Australia, said the council could instead accept 95 per cent of a bill in Australian dollars and the remaining five per cent in cryptocurrencies.

The Gold Coast is not the only jurisdiction considering paying local property tax in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Mention has been made of Latin America, in the cities of Rio De Janeiro – where citizens will be able to pay local taxes in cryptocurrency starting next year – and Buenos Aires, which will accept the payment of local taxes in cryptocurrency.

A mayor in Tennessee has also considered allowing property tax payments in bitcoin, an increasingly positive sign of growing adoption, regardless of market prices.