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G-20 Thinks Maybe Your Cryptocurrencies Aren’t ‘Money’ And That Means It’s Tax Time!

Cryptos "lack the traits of sovereign currencies," the draft says. 

More “good” news for cryptocurrencies!

According to a draft of the G-20 communique that Bloomberg got their hands on after getting drunk with Kuroda (I’m just kidding – although that would be fucking hilarious), finance ministers are set to adopt a consensus view that cryptocurrencies are not in fact “currencies”, but rather assets, opening the door for them to be taxed as such.

Cryptos “lack the traits of sovereign currencies,” the draft says.

To be sure, the rhetoric out of Buenos Aires hasn’t been particularly encouraging if you’re the crypto crowd.

“Crypto is more an asset than a currency,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who added that “if we want to move on and protect citizens from any kind of speculations or money laundering or terrorism financing, we need rules.”

Yes, “we need rules” and currently, there are none, a setup which we and others have long said is not only dangerous, but completely unsustainable. That’s part of the bear thesis for cryptocurrencies and isn’t well understood by people who view them as an “investment” or as a “store of value” rather than as what they are: a medium for speculation. The myth in the cryptoverse is that governments are somehow powerless to crack down on these things and that’s being exposed for just what it is: a myth.

“The first function of a currency is to serve as a stable medium of exchange, and experience today with various crypto assets in circulation are not at all satisfactory in this regard,” Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority Governor Ahmed Alkholifey said on the sidelines of the G-20.

In a note applauding the Trump administration’s decision to ban purchases of Maduro and Tareck El Aissami’s laughable “petro“, Cowen’s Jaret Seiberg writes the following:

The biggest short-term threat to crypto in the potential for a rapid enactment of legislation, with draconian consequences, while Congress still knows little about digital currencies/ICOs.

In other words: whether or not you think “a rapid enactment of legislation” is desirable or even fair, it might be coming and when it does, you’re probably fucked if you’re holding crypto “assets”.

Obviously, the tax issue has been simmering for quite a while now. Late last year, Coinbase was ordered to turn over customer data to the IRS. As the Wall Street Journal wrote last week, “by March 16, the IRS will have data on about 13,000 Coinbase account holders who bought, sold, sent or received digital currency worth $20,000 or more between 2013 and 2015 including the customer’s name, taxpayer identification number, birth date and address, plus account statements and the names of counterparties.” That portends legal action.

According to Credit Karma, fewer than 100 people out of the 250,000 who had filed federal taxes this year through February 12 reported a cryptocurrency transaction. That seems awfully low.

In any event, you’ll want to watch closely to see what comes out of the G-20 on this, because it certainly looks like they’re laying the groundwork for sweeping changes to the way these “currencies” (which most assuredly are not “currencies”) are taxed.

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12 comments on “G-20 Thinks Maybe Your Cryptocurrencies Aren’t ‘Money’ And That Means It’s Tax Time!

  1. Doesn’t affect me. Thankfully I now live where there is ZERO tax on capital gains, interest, dividends, investments and corporations. This is true throughout much of eastern Asia, except like Japan which caught the western malaise disease. I don’t even have to file a tax return! Or report any offshore accounts, assets and transactions, ugh! Here, people and companies are focused on building their business, skills, customer base and profits rather than focused on tedious gov’t red tape, regulations & tax extortion. It’s also where the most global growth is, probably not by coincidence.

    • sun burnt

      Is this the reason why in SE Asia everybody is forced to burn their own trash & often they simply throw it into the river?

      • Funny how tax-borrow-and-spend liberals often resort to such outdated fallacies to try to perpetuate their sham.

        Don’t let facts stand in the way. Treehugger ranks Singapore, Hong Kong and Bali among the tidiest cities in the world. Without tens-of-millions of overpaid, underworked civil servant parasites sucking the economic life out of everyone else in society.

        While gun & violent crime is a tiny fraction as bad as cities back in the states. Again, without millions in civil service law enforcement as a huge economic burden on society.

        And ZERO net public debt. So kids aren’t born into public debt and tax slavery.

  2. Bill Printon

    If by crypto holders will be “fucked” you mean “taxed” then yeah your probably right. If by “fucked” you mean some kind of FDR style Executive Order 6102… doubtful.
    Also sun burnt, your right on the edge of racist there. IDK where your from, or if you’ve ever been to rural America, but out there 3 out of 5 households pile their trash in their back yard and burn it.

    • no, I mean it’s all going to zero. where it belongs. because none of it is real. as countless analysts, economists, central bankers, and government officials have tried very patiently to explain to folks. of course it won’t matter. there will always be idiots that don’t know when to quit. this was an opportunity to make a lot of money, really quick and then get the hell out of dodge. and there’s nothing at all wrong with making a lot of money quick and getting out of dodge. but the getting out of dodge part is key.

      • Yeah I’ve been coming around to thinking that probably you;re mostly right about this.

        • yeah, and i mean this is another one of those issues where people think I’m “pro” this or “anti” that.

          that characterization is almost never right. I’m not “anti” crypto currency. I’m “anti” getting screwed out of my gains when government steps in which is why I think people should have probably sold in December or January.

          as I was explaining to a rather well-known pundit the other day, it’s a similar situation with Trump. I’m not “anti” Donald Trump. I never gave two shits about Donald Trump before he was President. In fact, I rather enjoyed the comic relief that Trump the citizen provided. So I’m not “anti” Trump, I’m just “anti” morons being President of the United States.

          it’s the same dynamic in both of those examples. I’m “anti” things that seem obviously bad or ill-advised like sticking around in an asset that’s the target of government regulation and making morons President.

          it’s nothing personal against cryptos or Donald Trump the citizen, although he’s not a guy I would generally want handling my finances.

      • Bill Printon

        fair enough, I personally don’t think every crypto is going to 0. However, at the same time, I took (obscene) profits in January and am glad that I did.

    • Anonymous

      “Also sun burnt, your right on the edge of racist there. IDK where your from, or if you’ve ever been to rural America, but out there 3 out of 5 households pile their trash in their back yard and burn it.”

      Being the original receiver of that message, I never interpreted it as racist at all. His was a valid observation, although burning and dumping are declining and non-existent as standards and wealth rise (yet too many people in some places do habitually litter even in close proximity to a waste bin).

      But I’d just wanted to make two bigger points in response. One, the world is rapidly changing. Two, some advocates of high government spending like to justify it with public services which seems a specious claim, as there exist places with adequate public services on a low budget and good living standards. US defense spending is IMHO the most grotesque example of out-of-control, largely unnecessary gov’t spending anywhere (yet Trump increased it massively in his first budget).

  3. “Is this the reason why in SE Asia everybody is forced to burn their own trash & often they simply throw it into the river?”

    Here’s a video of the river & surroundings where I am in SE Asia (this a COVER song by a friend). It used to be swampy ugly here and not much but simple dwellings and refuse. Now no trash or burning, instead pleasant walkways & residential & commercial buildings.

    It’s her cover of a popular chinese rap song protesting chinese government policy. The original artist was arrested and executed (j/kidding). Actually even tho the gov’t is totalitarian, IMO it’s scared of the people (which is good, they cleaned up gov’t corruption). I’m not advocating totalitarianism nor passing judgment, just observing. It’s complicated. Everywhere has its good and bad points, good and bad people.

    • Anonymous

      That’s actually pretty nice and catchy, except I can’t understand what is she singing?

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