The price of Bitcoin stands to get a boost this year from an unlikely source - state and local governments.
At least two states, New Hampshire and Utah, have bills under consideration that would make it possible for citizens to pay taxes and fees in Bitcoin. New York City has proposed similar legislation.
The reason? At least a few elected officials recognize the potential of Bitcoin to help government and citizens alike.
New York Councilman Mark Levine, the bill's sponsor there, said he saw accepting Bitcoin as a way to save Gotham a lot of money.
"It started with realizing how much money the city of New York is losing on transaction fees on credit cards, ultimately it's several million a year because of all sorts of fees and fines," Levine told CoinDesk last month.
New Hampshire Rep. Eric Schleien also sees a cost savings. He considers Bitcoin payments more secure than credit card payments.
The governments would not retain the Bitcoin. Instead, they would contract with third parties to convert the Bitcoin collected into U.S. dollars.