Treasurer Sprague Announces Suspension of OhioCrypto.com
Internal review has determined Board of Deposit approval was required before program’s launch
In a meeting of the State Board of Deposit today, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced the immediate suspension of the OhioCrypto.com website.
At the recommendation of Treasurer Sprague, the State Board of Deposit has asked the Ohio Attorney General for a formal opinion on whether the payment method facilitated by the program’s third-party processor constitutes a “financial transaction device” under Ohio law.
“It is vital that Ohio explores innovative, new technologies and processes that continue to drive Ohio into the future,” said Treasurer Sprague. “However, we must make sure any new processes that are implemented, such as OhioCrypto.com, are established in accordance with Ohio law.”
Since Treasurer Sprague took office in January, his staff has been reviewing the creation and operation of OhioCrypto.com. Based on this internal review, the Ohio Treasurer’s office believes the third-party payment processor, BitPay, is functioning as a “financial transaction device” and, therefore, should have been selected through a competitive selection process and authorized by the State Board of Deposit(Ohio Revised Code §113.40).
“As Ohio Treasurer, it’s my job to provide trusted stewardship and protection of Ohio’s tax dollars, and to follow the laws of this state,” Sprague said. “Until a formal opinion is issued by the Attorney General, I feel it is prudent to suspend the website.”
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Robert Sprague became Ohio’s 49th Treasurer of State on January 14, 2019, bringing to the office his extensive experience working on financial matters in both the public and private sectors. Under Treasurer Sprague’s direction, the office manages the state’s $29 billion investment and $11 billion debt portfolios, collects and deposits all state revenues, and oversees custodial assets.