Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Proposes Creating a Cryptocurrency Payment System for State Fees

The American politician and attorney serving as the 46th governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, announced the state’s 2022-23 budget proposal last week and proposed an idea to let businesses pay state fees with crypto assets. The governor’s “Freedom First Budget” suggests creating a department in Florida to accept state fees in cryptocurrencies.

Florida Governor’s Freedom First Budget Includes Crypto

The Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis seems to be keen on allowing businesses in Florida to pay for state fees in crypto assets. Florida is becoming well known for its politicians who are positive about the digital currency economy as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been very vocal about supporting bitcoin. Suarez gets a portion of his salary in BTC and recently announced he plans to take a fraction of his 401k retirement plan and convert it into bitcoin.

A report published by Fortune says DeSantis has explained in recent times that he wants the Florida state government to become “crypto-friendly.” “Florida encourages cryptocurrency as a means of commerce and furthering Florida’s attractiveness to businesses and economic growth,” DeSantis wrote in Florida’s 2022-23 budget proposal.

During His Speech in Tallahassee, DeSantis Discussed Leveraging Blockchain Pilots to Bolster State-Operated Departments

DeSantis also spoke about the budget proposal in a speech on Thursday in Tallahassee. “Our view as the state government is this is something that we welcome and we want to make sure that the state government is crypto-friendly,” the Florida governor remarked. In addition to Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez, crypto businesses like Blockchain.com, Etoro, and FTX have locations in Florida and Miami.

During his speech in Tallahassee, DeSantis also discussed blockchain technology. The Florida governor explained that the state aims to launch pilot programs that tether distributed ledger technology to state-operated entities like Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and Medicaid payments. While DeSantis has officially launched his bid for reelection as the state’s governor, there are rumors DeSantis may run for president of the United States in 2024.

What do you think about Ron DeSantis proposing that Florida businesses could pay state fees with crypto assets? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Central bank tells Thai banks not to offer crypto trading

The Bank of Thailand doesn’t want local banks or businesses using crypto, while the tourism ministry is still trying to attract crypto whales.

The Bank of Thailand has stated that it does not want commercial banks to be directly involved in the trading of crypto assets.

The edict came from central bank senior director Chayawadee Chai-Anant on Dec. 7 who cited risks associated with high price volatility.

“We don’t want banks to be directly involved in digital asset trading because banks are (responsible) for customer deposits and the public and there is risk.”

The latest round of central bank suppression of digital assets comes at a time when commercial banks have been making investments in local cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a Bangkok Post report.

In early November, Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) announced that it was acquiring a 51% stake in the country’s largest crypto exchange, Bitkub. In late August, the Zipmex crypto exchange raised $1.3 billion in funding from the country’s fifth-largest lender, Bank of Ayudhya.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has taken an increasingly tougher stance against digital assets despite their growing popularity in the country among individuals, companies, and banks.

Last week, BoT senior director Sakkapop Panyanukul warned businesses about accepting crypto, stating: “If other currencies are widely used, it will impact the central bank’s ability oversee the economy.” Referring to tokens not backed by assets, he labeled them as “blank coins.”

The central bank has also expressed concern over the use of cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services. In a related report on Dec. 8, Chai-Anant commented that digital assets could be detrimental to merchants and consumers because they are “associated with high price volatility and risks of cyber theft, personal data leakage, and money laundering.”

“If digital assets become widely used as a means of payment for goods and services, such risks could affect payment system stability, financial stability, and consumer protection.”

Related: Thai lawmakers urged to approve tourism crypto to entice digital nomads

The BoT warnings come just a fortnight after the Kingdom’s tourism ministry ramped up its efforts to encourage the crypto-rich to visit the country. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has declared the country “crypto-friendly” but clearly, the central bankers don’t want it to be too friendly.

Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on the tourism industry which has been battered during the pandemic. Much of the Kingdom remains in lockdown with very few arrivals at the time of writing despite efforts to lure crypto nomads and the like to a country where the central bank doesn’t want them using digital currencies.