SoftBank Invests $200 Million In Brazil’s Largest Crypto Exchange

Brazil’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Mercado Bitcoin raised $200 million from the SoftBank Latin America Fund, Mercado’s parent company 2TM Group announced today. The investment values 2TM Group at $2.1 billion and is SoftBank’s largest capital injection in a Latin America crypto company.

Following closely on the tails of SoftBank’s investment in the $250 million round raised by Mexican cryptocurrency exchange Bitso in May, the deal shows a growing interest in bringing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to Latin America.

“This series B round will afford us to continue investing in our infrastructure, enabling us to scale up and meet the soaring demand for the blockchain-based financial market,“ says Roberto Dagnoni, executive chairman and CEO of 2TM Group. “We want to be the main solution provider for corporate players.”

The São Paulo-based exchange aims to increase the number of listed assets (the exchange currently lists approximately 50 tokens) and grow its 500-member team to 700 by year’s end. Further plans involve regional expansion with focuses on Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia and growth acceleration across 2TM Group’s portfolio, which also include digital wallet provider MeuBank and digital custodian Bitrust (both are subject to regulatory approval).

Founded by brothers Gustavo and Mauricio Chamati in 2013, Mercado Bitcoin has become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. In January, it scored its first financing round co-led by G2D/GP Investments and Parallax Ventures with participation from an array of other investors.

Like many of its counterparts, Mercado Bitcoin has seen significant growth over the past year, with its client base reaching 2.8 million in 2021 – more than 70% of the total number of individual investors on Brazil’s stock exchange B3. Approximately 700,000 clients signed up just between January and May.

Over the same period, trade volume on the exchange had increased to $5 billion, surpassing the total for its first seven years combined. “Every single month [of this year], we are trading the full volume of 2020,” says Dagnoni.

“Mercado Bitcoin is a regional leader in the crypto space and the leading crypto exchange in Brazil. They are tapping into a huge local and regional addressable market measured by potential use cases for crypto,” says Paulo Passoni, managing partner at SoftBank’s SBLA Advisers Corp. (which manages the SoftBank Latin America Fund).

“At SoftBank we look to invest in entrepreneurs who are challenging the status quo through tech-focused or tech-enabled business models that are disrupting an industry – Mercado Bitcoin is doing just that.”

Despite the rapid growth of the local crypto market, Brazilian regulators have been lagging behind. In 2018, Brazilian antitrust watchdog, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), opened an investigation into the country’s largest banks for allegedly abusing their power by closing accounts of crypto brokerages. The probe was ongoing as of last year.

In April 2020, Senator Soraya Thronicke proposed an extended set of rules for Brazil’s “virtual asset” businesses, custodians and issuers, consumer protection, crypto taxation and criminal enforcement, however no apparent action has been taken on the bill so far. Nonetheless, Dagnoni says the nation’s regulatory environment is favorable, and the company is closely working with regulators “to build a consistent framework for alternative digital investments in Brazil, in line with its vision of a convergence of the traditional and blockchain-based financial markets.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I report on cryptocurrencies and emerging use cases of blockchain. Born and raised in Russia, I graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a degree in economics and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I focused on data and business reporting.

Source: SoftBank Invests $200 Million In Brazil’s Largest Crypto Exchange

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Critics:

SoftBank Group Corp. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. The Group primarily invests in companies operating in the technology, energy, and financial sectors. It also runs the Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology-focused venture capital fund, with over $100 billion in capital, backed by sovereign wealth funds from countries in the Middle East.

The company is known for the leadership by its founder and largest shareholder Masayoshi Son. It operates in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, information technology, finance, media and marketing, and other areas.

SoftBank was ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 list as the 36th largest public company in the world, and the second largest publicly traded company in Japan after Toyota.

The logo of SoftBank is based on the flag of the Kaientai, a naval trading company that was founded in 1865, near the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, by Sakamoto Ryōma.

Although SoftBank does not affiliate itself to any traditional keiretsu, it has close ties with Mizuho Financial Group, its main lender.

See also

 

Google Advertising Policy Opens Doors To Wider Bitcoin Community

The Google logo seen at the entrance to Google Cloud campus...

Google GOOG +1.5% is revising its advertising policy to let cryptocurrency wallets advertise with them, along with exchanges, starting August 3rd provided that they are either registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) or a federal or state chartered bank entity. The new policy will apply globally to Google search and its third-party sites, including YouTube, Gmail, or Blogger..

The expanded policy comes three years after Google banned all crypto-related advertising in March 2018. However, Google walked-back the policy five months later, allowing regulated cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase to advertise in the United States and Japan in September 2018. While expanded to allow cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to advertise, ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs), decentralized finance (DeFi) trading protocols, or promotions of specific cryptocurrencies are not permitted under the new policy.

It remains to be seen how this reversal in the policy will lead to a further loosening on other major advertising platforms that have placed restrictions on crypto firms. In 2018, Facebook banned all ads promoting cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and initial coin offerings.

A few months later, Facebook edited the policy to introduce an eligibility review process for those looking to advertise certain cryptocurrency products or services; applicants should submit any licenses, listings on public stock exchanges, or other relevant public background.

Twitter, similarly to Facebook and Google, prohibits the advertisement of initial coin offerings or crypto token sales but allows exchanges or wallet services provided by a publicly traded crypto company to advertise with them provided as long as they comply with local laws.

BY: Emily Mason

Source: Google Advertising Policy Opens Doors To Wider Bitcoin Community

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Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the world’s largest digital advertising seller, will let companies offering cryptocurrency wallets run ads beginning in August.

In 2018, Google barred ads for cryptocurrencies and related products, following a similar move from Facebook Inc. But Google soon peeled back that restriction for digital currency exchanges. Starting in August, Google will let wallets run ads on search, YouTube and other properties as long as they go through the company’s certification process.

Google is making the change “in order to better match existing FinCEN regulations and requirements,” a spokesperson said Wednesday in a statement.

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What’s The Deal With Bitcoin ATM and How Does A Bitcoin ATM Work?

What is a Bitcoin ATM, and does it actually function as an ATM? The short answer is yes.

Technically, these aren’t traditional ATM’s (Automatic Teller Machines) as they do not allow physical withdrawals of BTC from an account you own. Instead, these machines will enable you to purchase Bitcoin, depending on the specific machine. There are a number of machine types around from various companies, the top 3 being: General Bytes, Genesis Coin, and Lamassu.

  1. You verify your identity through an one-time-password sent to your mobile or email. Again, this varies from machine to machine.
  2. You decide if you want to buy or sell BTC (if you have the option).
  3. To buy, you must choose the amount you want to in terms of BTC or your target fiat currency.
  4. You then deposit the fiat currency into the machine.
  5. Several things may happen depending on the machine:
  • A QR code may appear on the screen for you to scan
  • A QR code may be printed off corresponding to your new BTC wallet.
  • The machine will ask and scan the QR code of your pre-existing wallet.
  • You input your email address to have a QR code sent to you.

To sell, you must send the appropriate amount of BTC to the address displayed on the screen. Once the transaction is confirmed, you will receive the agreed fiat sum. How long this takes depends on the machine.

Bitcoin ATM’s v.s Crypto Exchanges

Bitcoin ATM’s are connected to exchanges. When using one, you are essentially buying or selling your chosen coin on an exchange. However, you’re interacting with a physical machine in a specific location rather than online. The price difference between using an online exchange and an ATM is generally around 5-10%. This means that ATMs cost 5-10% more to buy, and selling means you receive 5-10%.

Despite the premium that must be paid, many are attracted by these machines’ convenience and ease. They allow for a more visual and straightforward financial transaction that most are already familiar with. In addition, machines do not require any confusing registration processes or the need to learn about online trading interfaces.

When selling through an online exchange like Phemex, the platform’s spot markets offer more control over the price you are transacting with. You can also take advantage of limit orders and stop orders if you are not happy with current market prices.

Bitcoin ATM Map

There are many services and locations apart from bitcoin ATMs which provide exchange of bitcoins for cash and vice versa.You can send cash-to-cash payments to your relatives or friends in other countries by using two bitcoin ATMs. Find where to buy or sell bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies through ATMs for cash here…

By:

Source: Bitcoin ATM’s: How Does A Bitcoin ATM Work? – Phemex Blog

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References

“FINTRAC Advisory regarding Money Services Businesses dealing in virtual currency”. Fintrac-canafe.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-11-22.

Phemex Is Empowering Everyone To Trade Simply and Manage Risk Efficiently

Led by 8 former Morgan Stanley Executives, Phemex’s goal is to build the worlds most trustworthy cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. Its leverage a “User-Oriented” approach to develop far more powerful features than any existing exchange.

Above all, they place customers first. All of the features and tools are designed with this philosophy in mind. This is why their development team is directly available and constantly gathering feedback, comments, and requests from our community on social media.

Back in 2017, as experienced professional Wall Street traders and investors, Jack Tao and other founding members of Phemex identified a lack of professionalism, trustworthiness, and customer support within the crypto industry. In the following two years, the number of users engaging in cryptocurrency trading increased significantly.

Nevertheless, existing exchanges showed little to no improvement. Realizing the seriousness of the problem, the team left Wall Street and founded Phemex in the summer of 2019. They then dedicated themselves to building a simple, efficient, but most importantly, a trusted cryptocurrency trading platform. Then, on November 25th, 2019, the Phemex platform officially went live.

Pheme (Fama) is the personification of fame and of the public’s voice in Greek mythology. While MEX stands for mercantile exchange. This name was chosen to highlight our vision and their dedication to stand as the most trustworthy trading platform.

From day one, their mission was and will always continue to be the empowerment of individuals. They want everyone in this world to have access to the right set of tools that will allow them to manage risk efficiently and trade simply. They sincerely believe this to be a fundamental right that all traders should enjoy.

For its crypto derivatives products, Phemex allows you to trade with leverage. This means that you can receive a higher exposure towards a certain crypto’s price increase or decrease, without actually holding the necessary amount of assets. You do this by “leveraging” your trade. In simple terms, this means that you borrow from the exchange to bet more. You can get as much as 100x leverage on this platform.

Leveraged trades are risky though. For instance, let’s say that you have 100 USD in your trading account and you bet this amount on BTC going long (i.e., going up in value). If BTC then increases in value with 10%, you would have earned 10 USD. If you had used 100x leverage, your initial 100 USD position becomes a 10,000 USD position so you instead earn an extra 1,000 USD (990 USD more than if you had not leveraged your deal).

As we mentioned above, in terms of Spot Trading, Phemex has adopted a zero trading fee model. Instead they just charge for monthly Premium Memberships (prices are $9.99 for 30 Days, $19.99 for 90 Days and $69.99 USDT for 365 Days). Becoming a premium member will also allow you to set conditional spot orders, you will enjoy hourly withdrawals with no limits, and will be able to gift trial premium memberships to friends.

With respect to contract trading, Phemex separates between “takers” and “makers”. Let’s describe these terms real quick. Every trade occurs between two parties: the maker, whose order exists on the order book prior to the trade, and the taker, who places the order that matches (or “takes”) the maker’s order. We call makers for “makers” as their orders make the liquidity in a market. Takers are the ones who “take” this liquidity by matching makers’ orders with their own..

Phemex previously didn’t accept any other deposit method than cryptos, so new investors were restricted from trading here. Starting 18 June 2020, however, they partnered with a company called Banxa which is a payment gateway that accepts credit and debit card purchases of crypto.

Since then, Phemex has also partnered with Koinal, Coinify, MoonPay, and Mercuryo. You have a variety of payment options (ranging from bank transfers to Apple Pay) and rates to fit your needs.

To our understanding, Phemex does not charge any fees of their own when you withdraw crypto from your account at the platform. Accordingly, the only fee you have to think about when withdrawing are the network fees. The network fees are fees paid to the miners of the relevant crypto/blockchain, and not fees paid to the exchange itself. Network fees vary from day to day depending on the network pressure.

Generally speaking, to only have to pay the network fees should be considered as below global industry average when it comes to fee levels for crypto withdrawals.

Source: https://phemex.com

BlockFi Mistakenly Deposits Outsized Bitcoin Payments

In this photo illustration the cryptocurrency exchange...

BlockFi, the crypto lending and trading business, mistakenly deposited large amounts of crypto to user accounts. The payments were associated with a promotion they were running, in which users would receive bonuses in USD stablecoins.

The promotion was intended to be “paid out in one lump sum in GUSD” according to their website. Instead, some accounts were paid the amount denominated in Bitcoin, with some receiving over 700 BTC (worth >$28,000,000 at current prices).

A screenshot from one affected user who withdrew the funds shows threat of possible legal action should they not be returned, and a pay-out of $500 should they return them by a set time.

BlockFi clearly has their hands full dealing with the mistakenly deposited bonus payments, and users have reported experiencing additional issues with the company’s services. The BlockFi subreddit is full of posts with individuals receiving the mistaken funds, having difficulty withdrawing, and being unable to trade. One user claims to have been falsely accused of withdrawing mistaken funds after withdrawing USDC which he or she had been deposited a month earlier.

A statement by BlockFi, noted that “fewer than 100 clients were incorrectly credited,” and “BlockFi has contacted these clients and is working with them to rectify the issue.”

There are risks with using centralized services like lending platforms and exchanges—these are especially well known by early Bitcoiner’s who have witnesses a great number of hacks, exit-scams, and insolvencies wipe out customer funds held by large custodians.

BlockFi claims that “client funds are not impacted and are safeguarded.” After raising a recent $350 million funding round, the company likely has large pools of capital to pull from should they be unable to recoup any of the mis-credited funds from users who withdrew to personal wallets.

BlockFi’s previous promotion was, indeed, a friend referral promotion which offered (albeit small) BTC rewards.

I am the Director of Research and Development at Inca Digital, a data and intelligence provider in the digital asset space. I use Inca’s proprietary data system, NTerminal, to aggregate and analyze structured and unstructured data.

Before Inca, I helped start up a pharmacogenetics laboratory and worked in neurodegenerative research. My scientific background influences the way that I think about complex systems such as blockchain networks, and the models used to understand them.

Source: BlockFi Mistakenly Deposits Outsized Bitcoin Payments

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Reversing the excess bitcoin rewards

One user who reached out to CoinDesk said they received a large sum of BTC in their account which they thought was a reward for referring their friends – so they sent it to their cold storage wallet. BlockFi’s previous promotion was, indeed, a friend referral promotion which offered (albeit small) BTC rewards.

The user said after looking at the transaction in more detail, they realized it was an error, so they requested a cancellation of the withdrawal. The cancelation request was confirmed via email and their account shows the BTC transaction was reversed, with a note specifying they had reversed the bonus transaction. Nevertheless, the user said the bitcoin reward ended up in their cold storage wallet. They shared these documents with CoinDesk, and the blockchain shows that the funds were indeed transferred to their wallet address.

The next day, they received a phone call and an email (which CoinDesk has reviewed) from BlockFi threatening legal action if they didn’t return the funds, but also offering $1,000 worth of the stablecoin GUSD for any trouble this may have caused.

Other users on Reddit posted images of BlockFi’s “generous” giveaway, with one deposit amounting to over 700 BTC. That transaction, according to the user, was reversed. Another said their friend received 5 BTC and was, in fact, able to move it off the platform.

Yet another user said they received both BTC and GUSD, only to have the BTC reversed. The GUSD remained, but a couple of days later when they tried to withdraw some USDC (+0.09%), a different stablecoin they had deposited a month earlier, BlockFi sent an email accusing them of withdrawing funds that weren’t theirs.

Crypto’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

It started even before Elon Musk took the stage on Saturday Night Live. The May 8-14 issue of The Economist arrived in the mailbox, delivering a quiet, existential blow to cryptocurrency as we’ve known it for the last decade or so. The publication’s cover package offered a vision of “govcoins,” digital currencies backed by central banks:

Government e-currencies would score highly, since they are state-guaranteed and use a cheap, central payments hub. As a result, govcoins could cut the operating expenses of the global financial industry, which amount to over $350 a year for every person on Earth.

Although the motivation for these “govcoins” is not to push existing cryptocurrencies to the margins, that would be the likely effect. Then, as Musk appeared on SNL, the price of Dogecoin plummeted. Although news stories attributed Dogecoin’s tumble to a Weekend Update skit that labeled the joke-coin a “hustle,” the selloff started at least half an hour before that. It felt more like a classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” dynamic.

But Musk reserved his true market-moving power for midweek, when he tweeted that Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for cars. The reason, Musk said, was “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.” In a later tweet, Musk called the amount of electricity used to produce Bitcoin recently “insane.” Critics pointed out that Musk and Tesla could easily have known about Bitcoin’s energy suck when they embraced the currency months ago; nonetheless, the price of Bitcoin sank by as much as 15% that day.

Musk’s pronouncements put the spotlight on cryptocurrencies that claim to require less electricity to produce. All of a sudden, everyone is touting cryptocurrencies that operate on a more efficient standard than Bitcoin’s “proof of work” standard. The flurry recalls the hype around sustainable aviation fuel or ‘70s-oil-crisis car advertising, in which the sole marketing criterion was which vehicle got the most miles per gallon.

The recently launched Chia Network, for example, plays up its “proof of space and time” standard as more energy efficient. Other cryptocurrencies, like Nano and Cardano, took to Twitter to boast about their supposed energy efficiency. On The Defiant podcast, crypto coder Preston Van Loon insisted that Ethereum—a versatile cryptocurrency that’s still valued about 400% higher than on January 1—is “about six months from proof-of-stake.”

Of course, the dramatic dropoff in Bitcoin and Dogecoin prices is both predictable and relative; the idea that Dogecoin is still trading at over 50 cents a coin is ludicrously mind-blowing. Nonetheless, the Musk-Tesla decision around Bitcoin feels like a watershed moment. Cryptocurrency mining’s energy use has gone from a fringe concern to front and center in a matter of weeks. As FIN noted last week, some state legislatures are beginning to discuss limits on crypto mining. It’s going to get harder for crypto enthusiasts to avoid this issue.

Don’t Miss Out on Future FIN

This edition of FIN is going out to our full list of e-mail sign-ups, which we provide about once a month. For the full FIN experience, be sure to subscribe: you’ll gain access to FIN’s exclusive industry interviews, timely charts, and groundbreaking analysis.

Fintech Meets Healthcare

One of the most powerful fintech applications imaginable is in American healthcare space. The United States spends trillions of dollars a year on health care, and yet the outcomes are consistently below those of other developed countries. There are dozens of reasons for that, but one that seems ripe for solving is how payments work.

The system of private health insurance is tremendously inefficient, to the point where it actively interferes with patient care. Americans almost never know what a given procedure is going to cost, how much their insurance will or won’t cover, or even when they will be billed. Surveys indicate that more Americans stress out over medical bills more than over their actual care. This chart shows why half of all Americans have been late to pay a medical bill:

For their part, doctors and other medical providers feel swamped with paperwork and antiquated billing systems. One company that’s trying to fix this broken mess is Waystar, a Chicago-based healthcare technologies that offers a cloud-based billing system to help rationalize payments. Waystar claims to currently handle about one out of every four healthcare transactions in the US.

In an interview with FIN, Waystar CEO Matthew Hawkins acknowledged that while the American health care system has for decades been slow to digitize, recent legislative changes—such as 2009’s “meaningful use” law—have spurred positive changes. Moreover, the shift to telehealth services brought on by the COVID pandemic should make the system more efficient. Hawkins said his company’s ultimate goal is “paving the way toward price transparency.”

He laments that “we’ve all gotten comfortable behaviorally with going to a provider, receiving health services, and then not really knowing the cost of those services.” Imagine an app that would tell you in advance what a surgical procedure was going to cost you, and even gave you the option to set up a payment program before you see the doctor!

Robinhood’s Customer Service Glitches Explained

Sheelah Kolhatkar is one of the most talented business writers in the world. And given the connection that former officials of S.A.C. have to the Robinhood story (Kolhatkar wrote the book on S.A.C.), she’s by far the best person to write about Robinhood for The New Yorker. Unfortunately for her and the publication, Robinhood has been so heavily covered since January that a lot of her current piece feel overly familiar.

But the one thing she really nails is Robinhood’s terrible customer service. According to her story, Robinhood outsourced its customer service in 2016 to a company called Voxpro, located in Ireland. Voxpro’s poorly paid employees didn’t have the licensing or certification to deal with investors’ problems. In 2017, Robinhood made the conscious decision to eliminate the option for its users to call and speak to anyone. The company later restored an option for an investor to get a callback, but these years of customer-service neglect explain a lot.

FINvestments

🦈Number of the Week: In the April 11 issue, FIN predicted that Better.com would go public this year. Sure enough, that is happening, via SPAC. The company, which made its fortune selling mortgages but clearly plans to expand into a broader range of financial services, will be valued at $7.7 billion.

🦈PayPal’s march to become an overall e-commerce hub continues; this week it bought Happy Returns, a Santa Monica-based company that makes it easy for people to return in person items that they’ve bought online.

By: James Ledbetter

Source: Crypto’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week – James Ledbetter’s FIN

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Related Links:

Bitcoin alternatives: The ‘green cryptocurrencies’ that want to solve Elon Musk’s crypto climate concerns

Bitcoin crashes as Elon Musk announces Tesla cars can no longer be bought with cryptocurrency

Former BlackRock executive says Wall Street’s green investing is ‘PR spin’

UK ‘halfway to net zero’ due to dip in emissions, analysis reveals

Is the government doing enough to incentivise households to go green

The environmental costs of fast fashion

Booking.com discount code: 10% with Level 1 Genius membership

 

Bitcoin Taxes: Overview of the Rules and How to Report Taxes

https://i1.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/shutterstock_1060313306.jpg?resize=924%2C578&ssl=1

Bitcoin seems to be everywhere these days. From its mysterious origins in 2008, it has grown into a widely accepted currency, used for everything from investing to shopping to employees’ wages. But many Bitcoin users don’t realize that buying/selling, exchanging, and even using Bitcoin to pay for things has tax implications. Yes, you read that last phrase right. In some cases, just spending your Bitcoin could be considered a profitable investment — and taxable.

From how exactly it’s taxed to how to prepare for filing, here’s what you need to know about Bitcoin taxes.

How Bitcoin is taxed

Bitcoin and its comrade cryptocurrencies (Ethereum, Ripple, Tether, and Litecoin) appeal to users because they are secure and provide a degree of anonymity. It’s that anonymity, along with the growing value of cryptocurrency transactions taking place worldwide, that has increasingly drawn attention from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in recent years.

Since you can use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for everything from online shopping to donating to charity, you might assume the IRS treats cryptocurrency like cash. That assumption can get you into hot water.

According to IRS Notice 2014-21, the IRS classifies cryptocurrencies as property, not cash or currency. That means it treats Bitcoin transactions like sales of stocks and other investments. Purchasing cryptocurrency with cash and holding on to it isn’t a taxable transaction, but selling, exchanging, or using it to purchase goods and services is.

For example, say you purchase 10 crypto coins for $10 (basically, $1 apiece) on December 1, 2020, and load them onto a cryptocurrency debit card. On December 20, 2020, that cryptocurrency is trading for $5 per coin, up from the $1 per coin you paid for it back at the beginning of December. On that day, you use your cryptocurrency debit card to pay for a $5 cup of coffee.

On your 2021 tax return, you are supposed to report a $4 short-term capital gain (“short-term” because it happened within one year). That’s the $5 per coin value you received when you purchased the cup of coffee, minus your $1 per-coin basis (what you paid for it) in the cryptocurrency.

That’s a level of record keeping that few taxpayers are willing to keep up with – if they’re aware of the requirement at all.

Why is Bitcoin taxed?

According to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Blockchain Capital, roughly 9% of American adults own Bitcoin. However, the IRS estimates that only a tiny percentage of them report crypto-related gains and losses on their tax returns.

In 2017, the IRS searched its database for the 2013 through 2015 tax years. It found:

  • 807 individuals reported cryptocurrency transactions in 2013
  • 893 individuals reported cryptocurrency transactions in 2014
  • 802 individuals reported cryptocurrency transactions in 2015

That discrepancy is why the IRS is making cryptocurrency taxes an enforcement priority in 2021. In fact, Form 1040 for the 2020 tax year includes a question about cryptocurrency on the front page. It asks whether you’ve received, sold, sent, exchanged or otherwise acquired a financial interest in any virtual currency.

If you check “no” to this question when you did, in fact, engage in cryptocurrency transactions, the IRS can consider that a willful attempt to avoid taxes, and you could face harsher penalties if the IRS uncovers your omission.

How to prepare and report Bitcoin tax filing

The IRS taxes Bitcoin as an investment. That means it’s subject to the same tax rate of capital gains and losses that other financial assets are subject to when you sell any holdings in it, realizing a profit or loss.

Step 1: Gather information for Bitcoin tax reporting

For each transaction, you need to know the following:

  • The amount (in dollars) you spent to buy the cryptocurrency
  • The date you purchased (or received) them
  • The date you sold or exchanged the coins
  • The amount in dollars the cryptocurrency was worth when you sold it (or value you received in the exchange)

When you sell stocks, at the end of the year, your broker will send you a Form 1099-B that includes all of the necessary information to report those sales on your tax return. But don’t expect the same service from a cryptocurrency exchange. Most crypto exchanges only send 1099 forms to customers with gross payments over $20,000 or more than 200 cryptocurrency transactions during the year.

However, you can typically generate reports through your cryptocurrency exchange platform that will include all buys, sells, sends, and receipts of cryptocurrency from the account. If all of your cryptocurrency transactions take place on one exchange, gathering the information you need for tax reporting should be relatively easy. If your cryptocurrencies are scattered across several exchanges, you’ll need to download separate reports from each of them.

Step 2: Calculate your Bitcoin gains and losses

Once you have all of the information on your cryptocurrency activity during the year, you need to determine whether you incurred a gain or loss on each transaction. To do this, you’ll need to decide which method you’ll use to value the cryptocurrencies you sell. Your options are:

  • First-in-first-out (FIFO). The coins you purchase first are the ones you sell first.
  • Specific identification. You select which coins you’re disposing of in each transaction.

The method you choose can greatly impact the amount of taxes you end up owing in a particular year.

Say you purchase 100 crypto coins for $1 each on January 1, 2021, and another 100 coins for $20 each on June 1, 2021. On February 1 of the following year, you sell 40 coins for $15 each.

Using the FIFO method assumes the 40 coins sold came from the January 2021 lot. As a result, you would have a long-term gain of $560. That’s 40 coins at $15 each less 40 coins at $1 each, or $600 – $40 = $560.

Using the specific identification method, you could decide that the four coins sold in February of 2022 came from the lot purchased in June of 2021. In that case, you would have a short-term loss of $200. That’s 40 coins at $15 each less 40 coins at $20 each, or $600 – $800 = -$200.

Some cryptocurrency exchanges provide a gain/loss report. However, these reports are typically only provided on the FIFO method, so you won’t be able to benefit from using the specific identification method if you rely on them.

Step 3: Report your Bitcoin transactions

Capital gain transactions are reported on IRS Form 8949. The form is divided into two sections:

  • Cryptocurrencies held for one year or less go in the short-term section. Short-term gains are taxed at the same rates as ordinary income, with the top rate being 37%.
  • Cryptocurrencies held for longer than one year go in the long-term section. Long-term gains qualify for more favorable long-term capital gains rates, which cap out at 20%.

Include your totals from Form 8949. If you sold other non-crypto investments, report those on a separate Form 8949. Carry the totals from all 8949 forms to IRS Schedule D.

The financial takeaway

You might have figured that investing in Bitcoin could have tax implications, especially if you make a profit on it. But it might surprise you to know that just spending your Bitcoin could trigger that taxable profit.

Purchasing cryptocurrency with cash and holding on to it isn’t a taxable transaction, but selling, exchanging, or using it to purchase goods and services is.

Tracking the ins and outs of cryptocurrency transactions can be challenging. If you own cryptocurrency and have many transactions, it’s a good idea to talk to a CPA or other tax professional familiar with cryptocurrency tax reporting. They may be able to recommend software to help track transactions and ensure you’re properly accounting for them on your tax return.

Related Coverage in Investing:

Alternative investments are exotic assets that can diversify your portfolio — here are the five major kinds and everything you should know about them

What are liquid assets? A guide to the investments that are easiest to cash in, and why they’re important

How to diversify your portfolio to limit losses and guard against risk

‘I have changed my mind’: A top market strategist and long-time crypto skeptic explains why he now believes bitcoin should be in investor portfolios

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and tennis star Serena Williams backed a startup which helps people calculate taxes on crypto, without seeing a pitch deck

Source: Bitcoin Taxes: Overview of the Rules and How to Report Taxes

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For more information, Checkout our Complete Guide To Cryptocurrency Taxes: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/the… To learn how to import your cryptocurrency data into TurboTax: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/how… To learn more about the “Cryptocurrency Tax Problem”: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/cry… To learn how Cryptocurrency Mining is Treated for Tax Purposes: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/how…
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UK Hedge Fund Reportedly Plans To Invest $84M In Crypto

The firm’s co-founder Alan Howard already has a personal stake in One River Digital Asset Management’s crypto ventures.

Brevan Howard, a United Kingdom-based asset management firm, is reportedly planning to directly invest in digital assets after more than a year of exposure to the crypto space.

According to a Bloomberg report, Brevan Howard Asset Management will be allocating 1.5% of the $5.6 billion in its main hedge fund to crypto — roughly $84 million. A source with knowledge of the matter said two co-founders of crypto investment firm Distributed Global, Johnny Steindorff and Tucker Waterman, would be leading Brevan Howard’s foray into crypto.

The asset management firm will reportedly be focusing on “a wide range” of cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin (BTC), betting that the price of the crypto asset will continue to rise. At the time of publication, BTC’s price is $62,775, having fallen 1.3% in the last 24 hours.

The potential investment from a major hedge fund wouldn’t be the first time Brevan Howard has had exposure to the crypto market. The firm’s billionaire co-founder Alan Howard has a 25% stake with One River Digital Asset Management, a United States-based hedge fund that purchased $600 million worth of Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) last year.

Part of a seemingly growing trend among hedge funds, Brevan Howard is not alone in dipping its toes into crypto markets. In February, New York-based global investment firm M31 Capital filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a Bitcoin hedge fund. Billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist Ray Dalio has also called Bitcoin “one hell of an invention” and compared it to gold.

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Source: UK hedge fund reportedly plans to invest $84M in crypto

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IRS Rules On Crypto Reporting Just Got Even More Confusing

At any time during 2020, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?

On March 2, the IRS updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Virtual Currency Transactions. The new FAQ provides that taxpayers whose only crypto transactions include the purchase of virtual currency with real currency need not answer yes to the question on the front page of the 2020 IRS Form 1040. This instruction is directly contrary to the plain reading of the simple question on cryptocurrency, which is highlighted in red here:

I’ve previously written about IRS enforcement of Crypto account holders here, here, and here. Uncovering crypto account holders is a key part of stepping up enforcement in this area, and as I explained just two weeks ago, the IRS is laser-focused on criminal and civil enforcement in this emerging area of taxation.

Both the 2020 IRS Form 1040 and the 1040 instructions provide that a taxpayer who engaged in any transaction involving virtual currency must check the “yes” box next to the question on page 1 of Form 1040. But the 1040 instructions provide a little more color, explaining that “A transaction involving virtual currency does not include the holding of virtual currency in a wallet or account, or the transfer of virtual currency from one wallet or account you own or control to another that you own or control.”

The FAQs released today provide:

Should crypto account holders who bought, but did not sell, virtual currency in the year 2020 answer “No” to the question based on this FAQ and the 1040 instructions?

I wouldn’t bet a single Bitcoin on it.

First, informal IRS guidance such as FAQs – and even the Internal Revenue Manual – can’t be relied on by taxpayers. Yes, you read that right. The IRS is allowed to and does publish guidance in the form of FAQs and the Internal Revenue Manual to assist taxpayers (and Revenue Agents) in navigating the web of tax law. But there is an abundance of caselaw that says taxpayers don’t have “rights” based on them and can’t try to enforce them.

Eaglehawk Carbon, Inc. v. United States, 122 Fed. Cl. 209, 221 (2015) (noting that “it is beyond cavil” that I.R.M. provisions “do[ ] not have the force of law”); Fargo v. Commissioner, 447 F.3d 706, 713 (9th Cir. 2006) (noting that “[th]e Internal Revenue Manual does not have the force of law and does not confer rights on taxpayers”); Valen Mfg. Co. v. United States, 90 F.3d 1190, 1194 (6th Cir. 1996) (noting that [“[t]he provisions of the manual, however, only ‘govern the internal affairs of the Internal Revenue Service.

They do not have the force and effect of law,’” quoting United States v. Horne, 714 F.2d 206, 207 (1st Cir. 1983)); and Marks v. Commissioner, 947 F.2d 983, 986, n.1 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (noting that [i]t is well-settled … that the provisions of the [I.R.M.] are directory rather than mandatory, are not codified regulations, and clearly do not have the force and effect of law.”).

Second, answering no to the question when the actual answer is yes based on the FAQ or instructions to the 1040, while technically correct, could lead to adverse consequences. Simply purchasing virtual currency does not create a taxable event. Even if no tax is due in year 2020, if a taxpayer answers no in 2020 based on the FAQ but then does not file a tax return for 2021, or files a tax return that omits a crypto transaction, rest assured that the IRS will argue that answering no in 2020 was evidence of intent to conceal the crypto.

And for that matter, so will the Department of Justice, Tax Division. Even if a taxpayer is later vindicated, simply going through an IRS civil or criminal exam can be costly in time, emotional distress, and money on professional fees.

While common sense says it should be perfectly fine to answer “No” based on the FAQ, as a tax litigator who defends clients in civil and criminal tax disputes with the IRS, I’ll advise my clients who bought but did not sell crypto to answer yes, unless there is a compelling non-tax reason not to.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I try tax cases in tax court and federal courts, represent taxpayers who are examined by the IRS, and represent tax professionals who get into disciplinary trouble.  I’m also a professional partnership representative.  My practice is in Chicago but my clients are all over the country and the world.  Email me at guinevere.moore@mooretaxlawgroup.com and follow me at @Mommytax

Source: IRS Rules On Crypto Reporting Just Got Even More Confusing

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