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New England city to consider cryptocurrencies for payments and investments

Will Reichelt, the mayor of West Springfield, Massachusetts, and chair of the town's Cryptocurrency Exploratory Committee.
Douglas Hook
The Republican / Masslive
Will Reichelt, the mayor of West Springfield, Massachusetts, and chair of the town's Cryptocurrency Exploratory Committee.

Officials in West Springfield, Massachusetts, will explore whether cryptocurrencies like bitcoin should become part of how the municipality conducts business.

West Springfield's new Cryptocurrency Exploratory Committee will look at the possibility of residents paying municipal bills with cryptocurrencies.

Mayor Will Reichelt said the panel will also look at whether the town should invest in the currencies.

"We want to get as much return as we can on money we have that's really just sitting there and, at the same time, making sure we don't lose something unnecessarily," he said.

Cryptocurrencies have experienced some wild swings.

Reichelt acknowledged he owns them himself and believes they can be solid investments over the long term.

He said the first order of business for the committee is to figure the legality.

"We're going to spend the next few months determining whether or not we're able to even do this, and if we're not, which we don't think we are right now, the steps to take to change the laws in Boston to make us able to participate in this crypto market," Reichelt said.

Reichelt said he expects the committee will hold its first meeting in early December.

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Before joining New England Public Radio, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.

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