Residents of the United States now have the option of paying bills, utilities, mortgage payments, and even taxes with cryptocurrency. This ability is made possible through Bitrefill, a Swedish tech startup that got its start offering services in El Salvador, which was the first country to declare bitcoin legal tender (this occurred last September).
Bitrefill Will Allow U.S. Citizens to Pay with Crypto
At the time of writing, Bitrefill allows Americans to pay their bills and similar items with bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Tether. The service is being integrated with several of the world’s leading tech and financial companies including American Express, Verizon, State Farm, Wells Fargo, Liberty Mutual, and United Healthcare.
It’s easy to forget that bitcoin and its many altcoin cousins were initially designed to serve as payment methods. This is because they have taken on such heavy speculative roles in the past few years, while some – such as BTC – have even taken on the look of hedge tools. Things that can keep one’s wealth stable and steady during times of economic strife, much like we’re experiencing now.
However, bitcoin and many other altcoins were initially built to serve as items that could push checks, credit cards, and fiat currencies to the side. People were originally supposed to use them to buy goods and services, but this has been a slow journey given how volatile they are. Many companies are worried about losing profit, and thus have said “no” when it comes to accepting crypto payments. To a degree, we can’t really blame them.
Consider the following scenario: someone walks into a store and buys $50 worth of items with bitcoin. For one reason or another, the store doesn’t trade that BTC in for fiat right away and about 24 hours go by. The next day, the price of bitcoin has fallen, meaning that $50 is now $40. The customer gets to keep everything he or she bought, but the company has lost money in the end. Is this a fair situation? Not everyone thinks so.
Reaching the Goals Slowly, but Surely
Bitrefill is an important company in that it is bringing the initial goals of crypto closer to reality. To allow Americans to pay bills and taxes with crypto, the company is teaming up with Arcus Financial, which was overtaken by Mastercard in 2021. Sergej Kotliar – CEO of Bitrefill – explained in a statement:
With Bitrefill’s bill pay, everyone in the U.S. will soon have the same opportunity as in El Salvador to live on crypto and leave your bank. They say there are only two certain things in life – death and taxes. Now you can pay both your tax and funeral costs with crypto.
In El Salvador, where the company got its initial start, Bitrefill has been growing at a whopping rate of roughly 100 to 200 percent each month.