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  • USDC is a stablecoin launched by cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and Circle.
  • The payment method will be available for about 60,000 residents.

According to a press release by crypto finance startup Circle, Bermuda becomes the first state to accept payment “for taxes, fees, and other government services” in USD Coin (USDC). USDC is a stablecoin launched by cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and Circle. The U.S. dollar backs it and the exchanges have issued over $1 billion worth of USDC to date.  

The payment method will be available for about 60,000 residents. Additionally, support for other “decentralized finance protocols and services” outside of USDC is also in progress. The release notes that it is a part of a broader initiative to integrate cryptocurrencies into official government operations.

Bermuda also announced its partnership with blockchain startup Shyft Network. The partnership will launch a digital identity program that will help every entity doing business in the country. Commenting on the initiative, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told CoinDesk via email:

“Bermuda is focused on enabling financial services to be built and delivered using cryptocurrency and digital assets.”

In late 2017, The Bermuda government launched a blockchain task force in collaboration with the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA). This resulted in the passing of legislation on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and create a regulatory sandbox for cryptocurrency companies. Circle recently shifted its operations to Bermuda in late July after the country showed a green signal on the crypto industry.  

Ohio, a state in the U.S., also allowed taxes to be paid in Bitcoin. However, the Bitcoin tax policy had to be discontinued citing potential conflicts with Ohio state law. Other nations like the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the People’s Republic of China are working on their own state-regulated cryptocurrencies.

Circle said in a statement:  

“Governments everywhere will need to respond to this fundamental innovation. Hats off to [Bermuda] Premier David Burt, who continues to show more leadership on these issues and very much remains out ahead of other governments in the world.”