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IRS Releases New Cryptocurrency Guidance

The IRS has released new guidance on the U.S. tax treatment of cryptocurrency for the first time since 2014. The guidance includes Revenue Ruling 2019-24, which provides guidance on the tax treatment of hard forks. The IRS also released a series of FAQs covering a variety of topics that expand on Notice 2014-21. Revenue Ruling… Continue Reading

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The IRS has released new guidance on the U.S. tax treatment of cryptocurrency for the first time since 2014. The guidance includes Revenue Ruling 2019-24, which provides guidance on the tax treatment of hard forks. The IRS also released a series of FAQs covering a variety of topics that expand on Notice 2014-21.

Revenue Ruling 2019-24

Revenue Ruling 2019-24 generally concludes on two scenarios involving hard forks. A hard fork occurs when a blockchain undergoes a protocol change resulting in a permanent diversion from the legacy or existing blockchain, which may result in the creation of a new cryptocurrency on a new distributed ledger in addition to the legacy cryptocurrency on the legacy distributed ledger. In the first scenario, the cryptocurrency blockchain experiences a hard fork but the taxpayer does not receive units of a new cryptocurrency, and in the second scenario, the taxpayer receives units of new cryptocurrency “as a result of an airdrop of a new cryptocurrency following the hard fork.” The Revenue Ruling concludes that the taxpayer does not have income in the first scenario. However, in the second scenario, the taxpayer has ordinary income because he has experienced an accession to wealth. The income arises at the time of the airdrop because the taxpayer is, at that time, able to exercise dominion and control over the forked cryptocurrency.

The Revenue Ruling’s analysis on this point appears to be based on some misconceptions about how units of a new cryptocurrency are accessed by holders of a pre-fork cryptocurrency, and confusion about the relationship between forks and airdrops. An airdrop is distinct from a hard fork – it is a means of distributing units of a cryptocurrency to the distributed ledger addresses of multiple taxpayers. Because of this apparent confusion, the Revenue Ruling does raise some practical issues:

  • What is meant by the receipt of an airdrop of new currency following the fork? For example, does it apply when a custodial wallet provider permits access to the forked cryptocurrency? If the wallet provider does not permit access to the forked cryptocurrency right away (or at all), does the wallet provider have income?
  • What if the taxpayer directly holds a private key associated with a wallet address on a blockchain that undergoes a hard fork?
  • The value of the forked cryptocurrency may be initially high but quickly plummet in value if it does not gain wide acceptance. The effect of the Revenue Ruling appears to be that the taxpayer will recognize ordinary income with no cash to pay the tax, and then recognize a capital loss on the original cryptocurrency (to the extent the value has shifted to the forked cryptocurrency).
  • In addition, it is not clear whether the guidance applies to airdrops of alt-coins to wallets to attract attention and a wider distribution for such alt-coins. Often such coins are airdropped to wallets whose owners have done nothing to receive them and, in fact, may not even be aware of the airdrop or want the airdropped coin.

Nevertheless, the guidance might be read as saying that a taxpayer will recognize income whenever the taxpayer gains dominion and control over the new cryptocurrency following a hard fork (i.e., the ability to dispose of the new cryptocurrency). Although the guidance does not technically apply to an airdrop without a fork (as neither of the fact scenarios involves such an airdrop), the reasoning would likely make that taxable as well.

FAQs for Investors

The IRS also released a series of FAQs that expand on Notice 2014-21. The FAQs apply only to investors holding cryptocurrency as a capital asset. Some of the significant points include:

  • Cryptocurrencies are generally valued as of the date and time the transaction is recorded on the distributed ledger (for on-chain transactions) or would have been recorded on the distributed ledger (for off-chain transactions). For transactions occurring on a cryptocurrency exchange, the value is the amount recorded by the exchange. For peer-to-peer transactions, the IRS will accept the value as determined by a blockchain explorer that analyzes worldwide indices of a cryptocurrency and calculates the value of the cryptocurrency at an exact date and time. This valuation method seems to require the combination of two different services – that of a blockchain explorer that tracks transactions, and that of an index that calculates value.
  • Taxpayers may specifically identify which units of cryptocurrency are deemed to be sold by documenting the unique digital identifier, such as the private key, public key, and wallet address, or by showing the transaction information for all units of a specific virtual currency held in a specific wallet. If the taxpayer does not specifically identify the unit sold, the units are deemed to be sold on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis. The provision of a cost basis assumption is welcome guidance, but the FAQ does not permit other assumptions, such as last-in-first-out (LIFO) or average cost basis. In addition, because specific identification is tied to a wallet and not a transaction identifier, if taxpayers want to use specific identification, they should hold cryptocurrency acquired at different times in different wallets.
  • If a taxpayer donates cryptocurrency to a charity, he or she will not recognize income from the donation and generally will be able to deduct the fair market value of the cryptocurrency if it is held for more than one year.
  • Taxpayers must retain records regarding their cryptocurrency transactions that document receipts, sales, exchanges, or other dispositions of virtual currency and the fair market value of the cryptocurrency.

In the press release that accompanied the guidance, the IRS warned that “[t]axpayers who did not report transactions involving virtual currency or who reported them incorrectly may, when appropriate, be liable for tax, penalties and interest. In some cases, taxpayers could be subject to criminal prosecution.” Because revenue rulings reflect the IRS’s position on how current law applies to a particular set of facts, they apply retroactively. Taxpayers who did not report income from prior hard forks should consider whether to file amended returns if the tax year is still open. This is true, even though many practitioners believed that there were reasonable analogies that would result in hard forks not giving rise to current income (e.g., stock splits, purchasing pregnant livestock, sale of extracted minerals or timber cut from land, division of trust, or sale of portion of larger property).

Source: https://www.steptoeblockchainblog.com/2019/10/irs-releases-new-cryptocurrency-guidance/

Blockchain

Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks to Accept Dogecoin Payments

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American basketball team Dallas Mavericks will now accept payments for tickets and merchandise in Dogecoin via the leading cryptocurrency payment processor, BitPay.

Prior to the announcement, it already supported payments in cryptocurrencies, including BTC, BCH, ETH, USDC, GUSD, PAX, and BUSD. Its billionaire owner and Shark Tank star, Mark Cuban, cited the ‘very important’ reason behind the newest addition.

All Bark And Some Bite

Meme-inspired Dogecoin is finally getting some utility to go with the massive hype of recent. The digital asset, which features the face of the Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” meme on its logo, has been added to the list of payment options on Dallas Mavericks’ online shop.

As a result, the team’s fan base, Mavs Fans for Life (MFFLs), can now purchase game tickets and merch using dogecoin.

According to the Dallas Mavericks, the decision is purely consumer-centric and is targeted at leveraging cryptocurrencies to “expand business sales opportunity, reduce high fees and increase payment transparency and efficiency.” Mavs’ billionaire owner and bitcoin skeptic-turned proponent Mark Cuban revealed the ‘earth shattering’ reason for accepting dogecoin payments.

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“The Mavericks have decided to accept Dogecoin as payment for Mavs tickets and merchandise for one very important, earth shattering reason, because we can! Because we can, we have chosen to do so. We have chosen to do so because sometimes in business you have to do things that are fun, engaging and hopefully generate a lot of PR. So we will take Dogecoin, today, tomorrow and possibly forever more. For those of you who would like to learn more about Dogecoin we strongly encourage you to talk to your teenagers who are on TikTok and ask them about it. They will be able to explain it all to you,”

While institutions are just getting caught up in the bitcoin frenzy, Dallas Mavericks is one of the early institutional adopters. The Dallas-based NBA hotshot started accepting bitcoin payments nearly two years ago and has continued to align itself with newer developments in the digital space.

Fun Over Intrinsic Value?

Mark Cuban’s reason for accepting dogecoin payments is based on the digital assets’ central theme – fun. He told Forbes last month:

“Dogecoin is less than a dime. You can buy $1 worth or $10 worth and have fun watching it all day”

He further stated that the digital currency has no intrinsic value, adding that he bought some for his son for educational purposes.

His earlier comments have led to strong suggestions that he is solely interested in reaping off the PR surrounding dogecoin of late.

Bitcoin Over Gold, Cuban Tells Schiff

Mark Cuban was quick to rebuff anti-bitcoin remarks made by the gold proponent and Chairman of SchiffGold, Peter Schiff, this week. The agelong precious metal advocate took a jab at wall street bitcoiners, tweeting that he never knew smart investors could be “dumb enough to buy bitcoin.”

In response, Cuban correctly pointed out that while a technology-backed store of values like crypto are dynamic and can transition into advanced applications, gold is simply static.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/mark-cubans-dallas-mavericks-to-accept-dogecoin-payments/

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Binance Coin, Neo, Enjin Price Analysis: 05 March

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Binance Coin was heading towards $205 after Bitcoin fell below $49k on the price charts. Neo also moved below a strong level of support, with bearish momentum likely to push the price to as low as $32 over the next few days. Finally, Enjin pictured buyers’ exhaustion after making remarkable gains over the past week.

Binance Coin [BNB]

Binance Coin, Neo, Enjin Price Analysis: 05 March

Source: BNB/USDT on TradingView

The bounce from $210 to $270 towards the beginning of March was not a recovery as sellers asserted themselves around the $270-mark and took control of the market. Since then, they have pushed BNB below the $230-retracement level. The $200-$205 zone is the next area of interest where the market’s bulls could take a stand.

The Awesome Oscillator pictured bearish momentum on the rise as it crossed over into bearish territory on the 4-hour chart. The OBV also noted steady selling pressure over the past few days.

A bearish retest of $230 can be used to enter a scalp short position, with take-profit at $205 and a stop-loss of $236 or $240 to give a little more breathing room.

Neo [NEO]

Binance Coin, Neo, Enjin Price Analysis: 05 March

Source: NEO/USDT on TradingView

As the Volume Profile Visible Range showed, while the Point of Control at $37.13 (red) has been a level that bulls have tried to defend over the past week, it appeared to have been ceded to bearish pressure in recent hours. The MACD formed a bearish crossover and dove under zero on the charts.

The 38.2% retracement level and the 50% retracement level at $35 and $32, respectively, are levels that can witness NEO bounce. However, as the VPVR highlighted, the $30.5-$32 zone will be the next area of notable trading activity and the area where NEO is more likely to find strong support, than at $35.

Enjin [ENJ]

Binance Coin, Neo, Enjin Price Analysis: 05 March

Source: ENJ/USDT on TradingView

In hindsight, it is quite simple to spot bullish exhaustion, but quite hard to be certain of it in real-time. The candlewick up to $1.51 for ENJ was followed by a strong momentum bearish candle, and this development confirmed that ENJ bulls have run out of steam, at least in the short-term.

The Stochastic RSI dove into the oversold territory while the RSI also began to drop lower from extremely overbought values, registering a value of 69 for the most recent, closed trading session.

The next level of support for ENJ was the 23.6% retracement at $1.07.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/binance-coin-neo-enjin-price-analysis-05-march

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Decentralized Companies Are the New Norm and It’s the DAO Revolution That’s Making It Possible

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The way people work has continuously evolved over the past couple of decades, thanks to increased penetration of the internet and advancements in communication tools that continue to make remote work possible. However, only recently, after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, did many organizations realize the viability of remote working as employees continued to work from home amid lockdowns imposed by respective governments.

The crypto industry is not new to remote working as most projects are developed and run by multifunctional teams whose members are scattered across geographies. Interestingly, these decentralized teams complement cryptocurrency technology, whose core attribute is all about decentralizing information.

The leading crypto exchange operator, Coinbase, recently became a decentralized company. The company decided to decentralize itself after operating for a while as a remote-first business that encouraged employees to work from anywhere in the world. According to Brian Armstrong — CEO and founder of Coinbase, the decision to become a decentralized company was influenced by the success of its remote-first approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. It made them realize that an overwhelming 94% of the workforce believed that working remotely was beneficial. It gave them autonomy, flexibility, and the ability to focus while enjoying personal time. The employee-friendly work policy has, in turn, helped the company attract some of the top talents from all over the globe. Overall, it is said to have increased engagement, belonging, learning, and creativity among the team members.

When it comes to decentralized businesses with a global workforce, traditional ownership structures and a top-down approach to governance may not be the efficient option. By empowering people at different levels to participate in the decision-making process, businesses can become more versatile and adapt to changing scenarios on the ground. DAOs, short for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, are created to democratize the entire process. In 2016, a company called the DAO was launched on the Ethereum blockchain. The company’s life was short-lived following security issues that resulted in a hack, forcing its suspension and a hard fork of the blockchain. However, the short stint of this new application of blockchain technology successfully proved the DAO concept, leading to further developments.

DAOs are programs that are designed to enable organizations to function without having a hierarchical management structure. Instead, it allows the community of stakeholders in a project or a business to take part in various roles necessary to ensure the entity’s smooth functioning and growth. In return, they receive rewards in recognition of their contributions to the ecosystem.

DAOs Evolving with Web 3.0

In the evolutionary journey of the internet, the next step is referred to as Web 3.0. It is all about the decentralization of tech infrastructure, relying extensively on collaborative actions where anyone can contribute or consume information without restrictions by a third party. Businesses staying relevant in this age will need a new organizational structure to communicate and manage decentralized collaborations. This evolution will be made possible by integrating fully-functional DAOs. However, most of today’s DAOs are limited to voting shell structure, which leaves room for lots of improvements in the segment.

The availability of full-function DAOs will make it easier for businesses planning to go the Coinbase way to create and manage a decentralized company. It is just a matter of time before technical limitations concerning complexity and scalability of smart contracts governing DAOs and associated high gas costs are overcome to drive the adoption of decentralized collaboration and governance.

The Metis DAO Way – The Future of Collaborative Organizations

Solving the issues hindering widespread adoption of DAOs is Metis – a layer 2 solution based on Ethereum blockchain. By using a combination of Optimistic Governance and a suite of microservice tools, Metis brings in scalability, affordability, and accessibility to easy-to-use DAO infrastructure.

Creating a decentralized company on the Metis DAO platform is a simple 3-step process. A DAO on the Metis platform allows collaboration between users through an embedded trust mechanism utilizing staking bonds to ensure all participants’ accountability. Further, for transparency and auditability, Metis implements a decentralized business credentials system that evaluates collaboration history to assign Reputation Power which is directly linked to eligible incentives.

As a layer 2 solution, Metis will be handling all transactions on the tailored Optimistic Rollup side chain that aggregates multiple transactions into a single roll-up block whose hash will be committed to the Ethereum blockchain by a smart contract. By doing so, the number of entries to the blockchain is drastically reduced, lowering the gas fees necessary to maintain the DAO. Further, it will include many governance and management embedded templates on layer2, including task management, knowledge management,  event management, chatroom, forum and many more functionalities, accessible over a simplified, user-friendly web interface.

Metis is all set to become the go-to platform for creating Decentralized Autonomous Companies/Corporations with all its features for the new Web 3.0. In the coming days, Metis will be organizing a token airdrop and public sale, offering an opportunity for the community to become part of the new movement.

 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/news/company/decentralized-companies-are-the-new-norm-and-its-the-dao-revolution-thats-making-it-possible/

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