The Bitcoin value bubble continues to make headlines; I tend to watch the speculation from the sidelines knowing that there are three things that noticeably drive investments; fear, anticipation, and the herd mentality. Bitcoin–as an investment–is incredibly risky in the traditional sense because there is no regulation, no central control, and the market is rife with volatility.
Yet, Bitcoin persists. A January 12, 2021 Business Insider (BI) article reminds that this cryptocurrency has managed to weather not one, not two, but THREE of what BI refers to as a “peak-to-trough drawdown” of more than “80% in less than 10 years”.
Is Bitcoin experiencing a bubble? That is a stupid question in the minds of some, but consider the newcomer to the cryptocurrency market who may or may not even have basic trading experience; what are these people supposed to make of an investment opportunity that started 2020 in the $6k range according to a CoinDesk Bitcoin price tracker, and ends 2020 pushing into the $20K price range?
New To Investing?
Newcomers, if you aren’t familiar with the basics of investing, know that the combination of this massive increase in value combined with a lack of the sort of stability legal tender has by comparison and it’s clear that while some investors are likely going to make a killing, there is a definite risk of a market correction. And where “altcoins” are concerned? Their futures may look rosier with a Bitcoin price adjustment.
Is it smart to receive salary in cryptocurrency? Opinions vary, but much depends on how much of your salary is paid in cryptocurrency, the state of the market, and other variables. To begin this discussion, let’s examine two things the federal government of the United States advises consumers about where cryptocurrency goes.
The Nature of Cryptocurrency
The Federal Trade Commission official site reminds us, “Cryptocurrencies are not insured by the government like U.S. bank deposits are. This means that cryptocurrency stored online does not have the same protections as money in a bank account.” That fact alone warns a lot of people off having their salary paid in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
What is the relationship between cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the IRS? I remember starting out as a freelance writer and not understanding how certain tax requirements applied to me–I missed out on thousands of dollars in business-related tax write-offs because I was ignorant of the rules.
The same kinds of problems are possible with cryptocurrency–if you don’t know how the IRS classifies assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or others, you could wind up with a tax liability or a set of assumptions about your investment that aren’t in line with reality. It’s best to know the rules before you need them.
What should you know about Bitcoin and the IRS? What follows is NOT to be construed as tax advice–this is information I have learned through my own personal research and I am passing along what I have found works for me personally–your mileage may vary.
Should kids learn how to use cryptocurrency? Chances are that if your kids are gamers, they are already familiar with some of the concepts behind it, but there are important issues for kids that should be a priority for anyone who wants to teach kids how to use Bitcoin or any other virtual or digital money.