A tax loophole which reduces Bitcoin investors’ gains to zero will be exploited by people filling in their returns for this tax year, potentially creating millions in lost revenue for the Government, experts have warned.
HMRC is expecting to see a surge in the number of taxpayers declaring gains from cryptocurrencies this year after many investors sold their holdings after values soared, leaving them with huge profits.
However the taxman’s anticipated windfall could be far less than expected thanks to a loophole which lets taxpayers class their investment in cryptocurrency as “gambling”, winnings from which are tax-free.
An HMRC spokesman said:
“We don’t normally tax betting and gambling because it is usually not classed as trading income…”
An open letter to the Bitcoin community by Jörg von Minckwitz
I have been in the crypto economy since the very early days. This was back in 2011 and since then I got to know the ups and downs of the market. I have seen the market crash from over $10 to almost zero, from $100 to under $10 and so on. On Monday morning, as I have always done for the last 6+ years, I was shocked after checking the Bitcoin price. The first thing that came to mind was: This is the end.
It took me a few hours to remind myself that I have been through this more times than I can remember or possibly count. The MtGox closure, “Bitcoin got hacked”, China banning Bitcoin mining, JP Morgan CEO calling Bitcoin “a fraud”, Bitcoin is only for money laundering and many more.
What scares me this time is that there are other players in the game now. In the early days, when the word hodl was more or less born, I had contact with most of the major players and actors in the space and there was always one thing that we all agreed on: We want to change the world. So we fastened our seatbelts and went on the fun and thrilling crypto ride together.
It is the end of an era for me. I say this because, for many in the crypto space, bitcoin and other cryptos are no longer about changing the world – it became a way to make more (and fast) money. That is one of the reasons why people tend to panic and sell – People are afraid of losing money.
In my humble opinion, this is not how bitcoin should be treated. Bitcoin is the biggest experiment in the world so far and it has the potential to change the world as we know it forever. It is not, nor was it designed to be, a tool to get rich quickly.
In this talk, Andreas Antonopolous recounts the history of Bitcoin and what it represents, building upon all the stories we’ve been told over the centuries about what “money” is, how we perceive its value, and why the old answers have changed as we adjust to this new world of digital peer-to-peer currencies. He also discusses global threats to economic stability and trust in the financial system, including demonetisation and wealth destruction through inflation.
[For context, note that the talk was given in India and towards the end he makes some references to India’s demonetisation]
Despite a sharp price recovery to over $11,500 today, bitcoin’s bulls are not out of the woods yet, the price charts suggest.
Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) has climbed 25.9 percent from the eight-week low of $9,199.59 hit yesterday at 15:44 UTC. As of writing, bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $11,590 levels.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has appreciated by 8 percent in the last 24 hours, according to data source OnChainFX.
However, the investor community isn’t convinced by the move, and comments on social media show that some believe the overnight recovery is nothing more than a “dead cat bounce.”
The price chart analysis indicates that only a close (as per UTC) above $12,500 (prices as per Coinbase) would add credence to rebound from sub-100-day moving average (MA) levels and confirm that a short-term bottom is in place.
The price of bitcoin has fallen below $10,000 for the first time since early December.
According to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), the cryptocurrency’s value has hit a low of $9,714.02 as of press time. The last time bitcoin’s price was below $10,000 was on Dec. 1, BPI data shows.
As of the time of writing, the price had recovered somewhat, trading at $9,737.20. Market analysis suggests that the price could shift in either direction and recent regulatory developments – out of South Korea and China in particular – could roil markets further, according to some observers.
Bitcoin’s come comes amid the backdrop of a wider fall in cryptocurrency markets, a state of affairs which was on full display during yesterday’s trading session. Data from CoinMarketCap shows that many of the top cryptocurrencies remain in the red for the past 24 hours, including ether, which has fallen below $900.
Bitcoin’s price has been on a wild ride since its inception.
2017 alone saw massive gains, starting the year at under $1,000 and, at its peak, breaking $19,000, according to industry site CoinDesk.
On Tuesday, it was trading at $11,943, a decline of 12 percent, according to CoinDesk.
As bitcoin’s popularity surges and its price rises and falls, more and more people are asking the same question: How does bitcoin, something that’s essentially invisible and intangible, have value?
Scarcity and utility
In economics, something has value if it checks the following two boxes: scarcity and utility. Scarcity just means that something has a finite supply. In the case of bitcoin, the cryptocurrency has a set cap of 21 million bitcoins.
Many analysts note that this set cap makes bitcoin more desirable than other assets, even gold. That’s because unlike with gold, there’s no need to worry about a digital Gold Rush. A treasure trove of bitcoin won’t ever be “discovered,” causing the crypto’s price to crash with an influx in supply.
“There are potentially millions of times more gold underground than actually has been extracted,”
said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors. Lee was chief equity strategist at J.P. Morgan before co-founding Fundstrat in 2014.
The year of 2017 was a fantastic year for some Bitcoin users, but others were not so lucky with the cryptocurrency.
Below, we’ll look at some of the most impressive success stories of the year, as well as the profiles of people who probably wish they’d never touched Bitcoin at all.
It’s a highly erratic currency, but people who invested in it before its recent prominence often found their foresight was lucrative in ways they never imagined at first.
This Anonymous Person Who Became a Bitcoin Millionaire
One anonymous person who posted a detailed story on Steemit said that in 2010, the price of each Bitcoin was so low that it was not even valuable enough to buy a pizza. Still, by the end of that year, the person reportedly had 12,000 Bitcoins and collecting the large number of them paid off.
That’s because by April 2013, the worth of each Bitcoin had ballooned to over $100. Due to some issues in the individual’s personal life and a few other non-Bitcoin-related factors, the person took a couple of breaks from Bitcoin but was never completely out of the loop with them. Eventually, this anonymous Bitcoin user heard that the 12,000 Bitcoins were now worth over $10 mln.
Despite that fortunate turn of events, the person only began selling them in small quantities so as to not attract attention. The individual also planned for the future by choosing investment strategies and did not let the rapid wealth impact their employment. As words of advice, the person suggests exercising patience and not getting greedy, while also keeping up on newsworthy events.
Erik Fineman began investing in Bitcoins in 2011 when he was only 11 after his grandmother gave him $1,000 and his brother offered him a tip about what to do with the money. In those early days, Bitcoins were only worth $12 each. However, when Fineman sold his first Bitcoins at the end of 2013, each one had a value of $1,200.