State of Ohio Says You Can't Use Bitcoin For Booze

Jonathan Millet
By Jonathan Millet April 28, 2014 12:25

State of Ohio Says You Can't Use Bitcoin For Booze

Story Highlights

  • Official from Ohio Department of Public Safety says bitcoin can't be used to buy alcohol
  • Says bitcoin's value fluctuates too wildly, as is more like a commodity

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Looking to get your drinking on at the upcoming Bitcoin Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio? You may just run into a legal snag, it seems.

A reporter filed a story late last week with indications that the State of Ohio does not want bitcoin to be used as a form of payment for alcohol.

The official word came from Eric Wolf, who serves as agent-in-charge at the Investigative Unit within the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

“Bitcoin cannot be accepted as payment for alcohol in the State of Ohio,” the Department ruled, making them the first in the United States to take prohibitive action against the use of the digital currency in specific circumstances.

According to Wolf, because the value of bitcoin is known to fluctuate significantly, it is considered (at least in the view of the Department) as a commodity, and it’s “not recognized as legal currency.”

It’s an interesting point of view, and certainly one that could put a damper on the Bitcoin Boulevards’ plans.

Eight businesses are participating in the event, which allows bitcoin enthusiasts to spend their digital currency in businesses within close proximity of each other.

Those business are Sweetie Fry, Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates, Shawn Paul Salon, The Tavern Company, Revive, Parnell’s Pub, The BottleHouse, and The Katz Club Diner.

If you haven’t already noticed, most of them are restaurants.

Often times, decisions of this nature can serve as precedents, so it remains to be seen whether authority figures in other states adopt similar rules.


Jonathan Millet
By Jonathan Millet April 28, 2014 12:25


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