New York City Councilman Mark Levine has recently presented a bill that will enable bitcoin to be used for payment of fees and penalties such as court costs and parking tickets.
According to Levine, the bill is slated to save millions of dollars in transaction costs, which can get a little pricy through means such as credit cards. However, Levine is going further to explain his bill in greater detail (which could be passed as early as this June) and show the true benefits of bringing bitcoin to New York.
Levine goes back a bit to explain the origins of the bill:
“It started with realizing how much money the city of New York is losing on transaction fees on credit cards, ultimately it’s several million a year because of all sorts of fees and fines.”
Levine goes on to explain that while there is uncertainty in the process, the greatest benefit of all is that bitcoin will bring a level of innovation to the Big Apple. According to Levine, the city is in competition with areas such as the Silicon Valley and Boston. Levine feels that bitcoin could bring a stronger technical aspect to the city, as well as developing more technology-related jobs:
“I think that being the first major city in the US to make this move sends a clear signal that we’re innovators here.”
Despite his excitement, Levine and his bill have been met with some negative reactions, and some of his peers in the Council are referring to bitcoin as “the Wild West of currencies.” To his critics, however, Levine is pointing out that New York currently accepts cash for all transactions, cash being the most anonymous form of payment, and that their worries may be a little too much.