New York Steps Up Bitcoin Connection With Parking Ticket Payment Systems

January 3, 2015         By: Steven Anderson

It wasn’t so long ago we were seeing how New York was becoming a much more welcoming place for bitcoin and digital currencies in general, thanks to relaxing standards and comparatively minimal licensing needs from the New York Department of Financial Services.

Some thought that New York was preparing to prove much more hostile to bitcoin than ultimately was the case, but the New York City Department of Finance has been making some new moves in the direction of accepting bitcoin payments for parking tickets.

So far it seems limited to a request for information, in which the city wants to know more about all kinds of payment options, not strictly bitcoin. Specifically, the information may be building toward the construction and subsequent release of a mobile app that allows for payment of parking tickets, using a variety of payment platforms from PayPal to Apple Pay, and potentially bitcoin.

With a mobile payment system for such tickets in place, that could mean revenue of up to $600 million coming into the city’s purse annually. But the app wouldn’t just be a “press here to pay fine” system; it would also allow for appeals and the ability to schedule court hearings as needed.

With New York regulators offering some help for bitcoin in terms of staying out of the way as it advances, and with other parts of New York like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority also looking into more mobile alternatives, it’s actually starting to look as if New York is rolling out the red carpet for bitcoin in general.

That may be a bit premature, but it does seem as if the city’s warming to the concept. If there’s suddenly a lot more use for bitcoin than there was before, it might well serve to drive the value of such up as well, so that’s a point to consider.

There may be some bitcoin holders who’d like to see the value go up and have some connection in the big city, so this could be part of a larger effort. But then, it’s also worth noting that the city was looking into PayPal and Apple Pay, so there could be some other efforts in the process here to consider.

Only time will tell just how this all turns out, but it may not be a bad idea to consider bitcoin and its contemporaries a little more closely. If the use cases increase, so too may the value, and parking fines today may mean a much more valuable currency tomorrow.