A Suburb in Phoenix Now Accepts Bitcoin for Utility Bills

Chandler, Arizona, will accept bitcoin, ether, and litecoin stored through PayPal as payment for water.

In the latest example of local governments adopting cryptocurrencies, an Arizona community now allows citizens to pay utility bills in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

Chandler, a Phoenix suburb, said Wednesday that people may pay for services using bitcoin, ether, and litecoin (LTC) stored in their PayPal (PYPL) accounts. However, the city will never touch those coins; according to a news release, its utility payments processor Invoice Cloud will sell them all for fiat.

Mark Stewart, a member of the City Council, said in a news release that it is critical to serve citizens using cutting-edge technologies, such as cryptocurrency payments. However, at press time, it was unknown if anybody in the city of 250,000 had began using the option.

Chandler is not the first city in the United States to integrate cryptocurrency payments with utility services. Mercedes, Texas, voted in November to do study on the issue, months after Williston, North Dakota, made its product available online. Both cities are orders of magnitude smaller than Chandler, which has a population of more than 273,000.

Chandler’s usage of PayPal precludes bill payers from using their own currencies. PayPal’s cryptocurrency service is a closed loop that prevents digital assets from entering or exiting. By press time, neither PayPal nor municipal authorities had responded to CoinDesk’s queries.

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