A city in North Dakota, Williston, is joining the crypto adoption race in the US by starting to accept crypto payments. The finance director for the City of Williston, Hercules Cummings, announced on May 13 that the city administration has partnered with crypto payment company BitPay to begin accepting cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for the utility bills.
The city executive stated:
“We have partnered with BitPay, the largest virtual payment merchant whose partners include Microsoft and Facebook. We are the first municipality in the State of North Dakota, and the third in the nation, to offer this service.”
The utility bill payments will be the only bills that will be eligible for crypto payments initially. Hercules mentioned that the city will do an extensive quality assessment to expand the new payment strategy for bills like landfills, licenses, and permits.
This new payment method comes in line with the city’s vocal commitment to exploring more payment strategies to keep pace with existing payment options and support contactless payments. Hercules noted:
“There are also a number of advantages to utilizing these online payment methods including security, convenience, and cost savings.”
Based on that announcement, BitPay is charging a 1% fee to pay utility bills online compared to a 3% commission for the payments made through services like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal.
Williston residents can visit the official city site and offer their account information to get a BitPay invoice. People can create a digital wallet for payments directly using BitPay or other services like crypto exchanges, according to the official announcement.
A few states in the United States are currently thinking about creating crypto-friendly legislation. Earlier in the week, Nebraska legislators favored an initiative that would enable state banks to handle crypto. Also, the mayor of Jackson, Tennessee launched a campaign to pay public salaries in Bitcoin and mine the cryptos for the city’s balance sheets, echoing similar proposals put forward in Miami, Florida.
Based on data collected by Newsweek magazine, up to 46 million Americans, or 17% of all US adults own some Bitcoin as of May 2021. A survey by Gemini crypto exchange estimate that only 14% of the US population or around 21 million adults, owned cryptocurrencies as of late 2021.