Lake County

Central Florida county considering starting its own cryptocurrency

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Lake County is looking at the possibility of getting involved in the cryptocurrency business.

County staff are exploring how the county could accept Bitcoin for payment of fees, and the possibility of the county making its own cryptocurrency.

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Most people Channel 9 spoke with said they use an old-fashioned checkbook or a credit card to pay for fees, so paying by cryptocurrency isn’t something they’d thought about before.

Money kept with a bank backed by the government can be sent from the bank to a business or another person, but cryptocurrency is changing that, at least for some.

READ: Bitcoin: 9 things to know

What many people may not realize is cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin aren’t something physical in your hand, it’s a digital form of money not stored with a central bank. Transactions are recorded on a network of computers all over the world.

Owners can pay electronically directly to others without using a bank as a go-between.

Read: Charities see more crypto donations. Who is benefiting?

“You know, Gen Z and millennials are using it pretty ubiquitously; now are using it more often, at least,” Lake County Commission Chairman Sean Parks said.

That’s why Parks is pushing county staff to look into accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for fees on various county services.

Read: Amid crypto’s Wild West, Binance says a sheriff is needed

He believes it would appeal to the younger generation, especially those starting small businesses.

“And it would certainly send a signal that we’re wanting to be more business-friendly, and that we’re thinking about the next generation,” Parks said.

He’d also like the county to look at creating its own “coin,” a Lake County digital currency, like the city of Miami has done. He says it could bring in money to the county each time someone makes a transaction using it.

Read: Staples Center is changing its name to Crypto.com Arena

Parks says he wants it to start out as a pilot program, with fees for things like permits and library fees, and then expand if successful.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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