Did you dabble in bitcoin in 2017, riding the cryptocurrency roller coaster that seemed to captivate the nation? You may be on the hook for taxes — no matter how you acquired or used it.You can run afoul of IRS rules on bitcoin in a few surprising ways. Here’s how using bitcoin can affect your tax situation. Bitcoin is property (and that’s really important) In 2014, the IRS issued a notice declaring that cryptocurrency is treated like property, not a currency. That may sound like a trivial distinction, but it’s the basis for when the IRS decides whether individuals owe taxes. And these tax consequences revolve around what the government agency calls a “realization event.”A realization event, as it relates to bitcoin, involves three actions: Acquiring bitcoin via mining Cashing bitcoin, say, for dollars or euros on an exchange Using bitcoin to buy goods or services In each case the bitcoin owner may have created a tax liability. If … [Read more...] about If you owned bitcoin, you have a complex tax situation
Can you exchange bitcoins for cash
Bitcoin fans say it's the best thing ever. Bitcoin haters say it's a lot of geeky hype. I've been described as a Bitcoin hater and I guess, for the most part, I agree. But this isn't unchecked hate just for the sake of hating something, I just don't see the point of it, Bitcoin that is, not hate. If you think about it, traditional dollars, are just as digital and anonymous as any digital currency. On the anonymous front, if I toss a $10 bill into a Fireman's boot during one of his annual fundraisers while waiting at a traffic light, that's pretty darn anonymous. When I hand some panhandler a fiver on the street, that's anonymous. A guy rolling up to a crack dealer on the corner and trading a $20 bill for a tiny bag o' crack is anonymous. What more can you ask? As for digital, most of my payments go directly into my bank account via automated clearing house (ACH) or direct deposit. My wife pays our bills online. I buy apps, music, and Amazon.com goodies online with no apparent money, … [Read more...] about Why dollars are better than bitcoins (and always will be)
BERLIN -- If you visit a bar, cafe or restaurant off the beaten tourist path in Germany's capital city, it's usually best not to count on your credit card. Business owners in Berlin offer various explanations as to why they accept cash only: Some cite fees as the problem, others worry about fraud, and a few surprisingly honest souls admit they would simply rather not be taxed. But if you visit Room 77 in the district of Kreuzberg for a meal and some live music, you don't need cash or a credit card. In fact, you don't even need euros -- if you own Bitcoin, that is. "I believe in honest money -- gold, silver and Bitcoin," reads a sign behind Joerg Platzer's bar. Here you can pay your tab with the virtual currency, created in 2009 as a decentralized alternative to dollars, euros and other government-backed tender. All you have to do is enter your total into a Bitcoin wallet on your smartphone and scan a code on the bar's machine. Platzer began accepting Bitcoin at Room 77 in his … [Read more...] about Bitcoin takes off in Berlin
Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency to beat, has found its way into well over a million digital wallets worldwide but it's yet to hit mass adoption. Finnish technology co-operative Koodilehto believes the answer to Bitcoin's search for wider accessibility and reliability could lie in TV and radio signals. "We want to improve the availability of the Bitcoin network and offer an alternative that doesn't require an internet connection," Koodilehto's Tuomo Sipola says. "TV networks are very reliable, as they have been designed to work in challenging conditions almost anywhere." Since early September, a pilot of 'Kryptoradio' — a data transmission protocol developed by Sipola and Joel Lehtonen — has been successfully transmitting Bitcoin transaction and exchange rate data in real time through Finland's digital national TV network. The network, which covers the entire Finnish population, is run by Digita, which describes the partnership as an "interesting and exciting" way to … [Read more...] about Bitcoin for the unconnected: The Finnish protocol that lets you buy and sell currency through your TV
What is the blockchain exactly? A big ponzi scheme or an opportunity and a new technology that we can all use to transform society? Depends on who you're asking, but a good starting point is to disassociate crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin from blockchain, the underlying data structure and related protocols. One thing to note for crypto-currencies is that they implement what is called Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). DLT is essentially a distributed database where records of transactions are kept. However the difference with traditional distributed databases that have been around for years is that DLTs are open networks in which nodes are not controlled by a single entity. The way this typically works for blockchain-based DLTs is through what is called mining. Mining is a process through which transactions are verified, and also new coins are added to the coin deposit. In Bitcoin for example this is achieved by solving a cryptographic challenge which requires intense … [Read more...] about A better blockchain: Bitcoin for nothing and transactions for free?
Before you jump into this overview of how to buy and sell bitcoin, check out our first article in this series, Bitcoin, explained . Mining bitcoin isn't the only way to get your hands on the stuff, you know. In fact, mining bitcoin is a complete pain in the buns. At a minimum, you need specialized software, a sophisticated hardware rig to run it and a considerable amount of electricity to power the whole thing. Really, the simplest way to amass bitcoin is to just buy it. Of course, that's something of a process in and of itself. Before you're ready to ride the bitcoin rollercoaster, you'll need to establish an account with one of the major exchanges (like Coinbase or CEX), connect a bank account or credit card and transfer money over. That process, which we break down below, should take roughly 10 minutes or so. Unless, of course, an exchange is suffering some sort of outage -- an increasingly (and disconcertingly) common occurrence. Where can I buy bitcoin? There are many … [Read more...] about Bitcoin: The newcomer’s guide to cryptocurrency
Covered by CNN earlier today, 27-year-old Matt Thompson of Wisconsin is selling off his vacation home for approximately 100 million Dogecoins. Valued at about $135,000 according to the exchange rate at the publication time of the article, that sizable amount of Dogecoins will purchase a three-bedroom, two-bath home in the woods around Hayward, Wisconsin. The lodge-style home comes with knotty pine wood on the walls and ceiling, a massive stone fireplace, an enclosed porch and a scenic view overlooking a nearby lake.When asked about his acceptance of Dogecoins over dollars, Thompson said “I don’t mind holding on to (Dogecoins) for a multitude of reasons, including that I believe I can use them to further my business.” Thompson works as an electronics reseller and mentioned that Chinese companies will accept the recently created cryptocurrency as a form of payment for goods. Of course, there’s also the potential … [Read more...] about You can buy this vacation home for a mere 100 million Dogecoins
Anthony Gallippi, CEO of BitPay, has started paying his gardener -- in BitCoins.His gardener carries a card with a QR code with the needed information for Gallippi to transfer BitCoins to his account once he's finished tending the lawn. The gardener has chosen to get 90 percent of the money in cash, delivered by bank transfer by BitPay the next day, and keep 10 percent in BitCoins."Every time I pay him, he gets BitCoins in his wallet right away, and next day he gets a direct deposit in his bank account," Gallippi said.BitPay, a Florida-based company, is seeing rising interest in BitCoin, the fledgling digital currency that is a small, yet interesting wild card challenger to traditional payment systems.BitPay is one of a handful of companies trying to make it easier for merchants to accept BitCoins and people to use them. BitCoins are essentially encrypted numbers that have fluctuating value according to open-market trading. It has been referred to as a crypto-currency for the complex … [Read more...] about Interest in Bitcoin, Fledgling Electronic Currency, Grows
The controversy roiling the Bitcoin community continues with the outing and then cloaking of the man fingered by Newsweek as Bitcoin’s Louis Pasteur. But the unassuming Dorian S. Nakamoto, a Japanese-American man in California, denied having anything to do with the digital currency in an interview with the Associated Press! Get the Free Tracker App to find a Nintendo Switch in Stock So who is Bitcoin’s Keyser Söze, or if you prefer, its Walter White? As the search for the inventor, er founder, er messiah continues, I’d say the IRS and FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Well, neither may have founded Bitcoin, but either or both could turn out to be its Keyser Söze. It’s not Warren Buffett, though he did say Bitcoin is “not a currency.”FinCEN is on to Bitcoin, requiring some to register as Money Service Businesses. FinCEN is part of the Treasury Department with a mission of safeguarding the financial system, combating … [Read more...] about Bitcoin’s Keyser Söze Revealed?
Bitcoin, the first and most popular form of cryptocurrency, recently hit record highs, surpassing $4,000 per coin. Bitcoin relies on peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, and as such, it is completely decentralized – in other words, no central bank or government regulates or backs it. Buyers transfer funds directly to sellers, without a third-party middleman to process payments between the parties' financial institutions.Though primarily used in online stores, bitcoin is quickly gaining wide popularity amongst brick-and-mortar shops, food establishments, service-based businesses and even car dealerships. Big-name companies that currently accept bitcoin include Overstock and Virgin Galactic."Cryptocurrencies cut out the middleman in a transaction," said Chris Poelma, president and GM of NCR Silver. "Rather than store your money somewhere where you're dependent on an organization to safeguard it, you hold on to it through an encryption only you have a key to. As we hear more stories of … [Read more...] about Should Your Small Business Accept Bitcoin?