An Arizona city is allowing residents to pay their utility bills in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) in the latest example of municipal governments embracing cryptocurrencies.
Chandler, a Phoenix suburb, on Wednesday said that residents can pay in bitcoin, ether and litecoin (LTC) held in their PayPal (PYPL) accounts. But the city won’t ever touch those coins; its utility payments processor Invoice Cloud will sell it all for fiat, a press release said.
City Council member Mark Stewart said in a press release that it’s important to serve residents with the newest technology, such as crypto payments. But it was unclear at press time whether anyone in the city of 250,000 had begun using the option.
Chandler is not the first U.S. city to mesh crypto payments with utilities. Mercedes, Texas, voted to research the subject in November, months after Williston, North Dakota, brought its offering online. Both are orders of magnitude smaller than Chandler, a city of over 273,000.
Chandler’s choice of PayPal means that bill payers can’t use their self-custodied coins. PayPal’s crypto service is a closed loop that doesn’t let digital assets in or out.
PayPal and city officials did not respond to CoinDesk’s questions by press time.