May 272020
 

This is a sponsored post by Sharleen Ross

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Gold BitCoin standing on a computer keyboard

If you weren’t a germaphobe before 2020, you probably are now. Being more aware of germs and how they spread is going to help future generations better handle virus outbreaks and disease pandemics, but when it comes to the world of finance and transactions, there are some helpful things you can do now to slow the spread of germs. 

Stop the Spread

Cryptocurrency is gaining more popularity every year and many predict it will be the way of the future. In times like these, going crypto can be especially helpful. Physical currency is ranked among some of the dirtiest objects around. It goes through thousands of hands and places before it reaches your wallet and gets passed on again. In trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, using virtual currency may be one of the most health-conscious choices you can make. 

In addition to slowing the spread of germs and the virus specifically, cryptocurrency can also help lower your taxes. Donating crypto is not taxable in the United States and many other countries. That’s good news for you and the millions in need at this time of trouble. There are many who are unemployed, sick or don’t have money to purchase food and other necessities. You can use cryptocurrency to make donations to your favorite charity, count it as a tax deduction and even prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s a win-win, win! 

Safe Transactions

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Cryptocurrency is also an extremely safe way to make transactions due to the numerous verifications each exchange must go through. Cryptocurrency is checked by people called “miners” and their job basically is to confirm that the transaction is legitimate and meets all necessary standards. As transactions accumulate, you build what is referred to as a blockchain. Blockchain is like layers of verification on where the currency has been; it is protected by virtually thousands of eyes and monitors, which is more security than banks and credit union s can offer. 

Hectic times like this can also be vulnerable times. Criminals trying to hack bank accounts is a legitimate concern and you should do all you can to stay protected. Cryptocurrency can keep funds safe and secure. 

Globalization

Another benefit, besides helping with taxes is the speed and fluidity of transactions across borders. The world is more globalized than ever and from the looks of things, it will continue to move in that direction. Transactions will not only influence the U.S., but also the global economy. The future holds a lot of new possibilities and crypto currencies are a great tool to keep up with changing times. 

Stay Safe

The ultimate goal of course right now is to keep yourself and your families safe. It is vital that we take every precaution necessary to beat the virus that has taken over. Cryptocurrency is another way we can help avoid the spread of germs and fight this thing together. Of course cryptocurrency will help you with your taxes (there are even helpful cryptocurrency tax guides out there), make for safer transactions and keep you moving in a fast-paced world, but the most important thing is you. You and your loved ones can’t be replaced, so be smart and stay safe. 

Dec 062016
 

irs-logo

The U.S. government has always taken a somewhat hands-off approach concerning Bitcoin. With some countries around the world flirting with the idea of recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender, or officially adopting it, U.S. financial regulators instead classified the cryptocurrency as a commodity. This means that it’s viewed in a similar way to a stock or precious resource, rather than as a peer for the dollar or any kind of foreign currency.

That doesn’t mean Bitcoin has free reign, however. In fact, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission cracked down on cryptocurrency trading when it made the ruling that Bitcoin was a commodity, requiring trading platforms to comply with its own registration and regulation processes. But this didn’t really constitute any kind of direct government involvement or endorsement of Bitcoin.

This is in keeping with policies we see around the world, despite the aforementioned tendency of a handful of nations to get more involved. As one analysis of Bitcoin’s place in world markets put it, countries do not accept Bitcoin as a transactional currency between individuals and the state, even if they allow it to be used as an alternative to everyday currency. This is the case for several different reasons—among them the idea that many governments are wary of the fact that Bitcoin can be used as an “imaginary” currency aimed at purchasing illegal goods.

Interestingly enough, while Bitcoin cannot be used in financial transactions with the government, the government still wants to keep an eye on what exactly people are doing with it. A couple of years ago, the IRS referred to Bitcoin as property, which was significant in that the acquisition and sale of property must be tracked for taxing purposes. The alternatives were for Bitcoin to be taxed as capital gains, as currency, or not at all. But now it’s expected that anyone mining or being paid in Bitcoin must record the amounts (in U.S. dollars) as pieces of property.

Now, things are getting a little bit more complicated. Because Bitcoin grew so rapidly and wasn’t initially addressed by the IRS or the U.S. government, there are a few years’ worth of uncertain data that the IRS suddenly wants to get its hands on. Recently, the organization has ordered the release of customer records from Coinbase—the largest provider of Bitcoin services in the United States. While the IRS has not accused Coinbase itself of any wrongdoing, it stated that there may well be Bitcoin users who have (presumably either knowingly or unwittingly) committed tax fraud by failing to comply with policy regarding cryptocurrency.

Coinbase appears poised to fight the Justice Department regarding this order, and it’s likely to become a fairly big story in crytpocurrency circles. The idea of a service releasing specific customer information and transaction records is antithetical to the very purpose of Bitcoin, and what happens in this developing case could set some interesting precedents for how Bitcoin investors operate in the near future.