(The Center Square) — An Illinois statehouse measure that would allow a state agency to set rules around cryptocurrency payment has passed house to house.
House Bill 5287 could allow Illinois citizens to use a digital currency such as bitcoin as a method of payment with the Illinois Department of Revenue and their branches across the state.
State Representative Margaret Croke, D-Chicago, explained that the payment system would involve an outside third party, similar to how credit card payments are processed. The measure would not mean that the state holds digital currency, but rather converts cryptocurrency payments into US dollars.
“HB5287 will allow the Department of Revenue to adopt rules and regulations for cryptocurrency payment,” Croke said. “This would mirror the system in place for credit cards.”
The cryptocurrency market is a volatile market due to high supply and demand, investor and user sentiment, government regulations, and hype.
State Rep. Steven Reick, R-Woodstock, asked about these issues and what happens if the market experiences a downturn while a payment is being processed.
“Cryptography is still in its infancy and is still subject to market volatility,” Reick said. “If there is a crypto payment and before it is converted to Springfield, and there is a loss of value with that money, who bears the risk of loss?”
The bill allows individual departments to opt out of accepting cryptocurrency as payment if they wish and will not be required to implement the payment system.
The legislation passed the House by an 84-15 vote and could now be taken up by the Senate.