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News Link • Currencies

KOL085 | The History, Meaning, and Future of Legal Tender

•, by Stephan Kinsell

Also: in the WSJ article Tax Plan May Hurt Bitcoin, the article notes that legal tender laws are, in fact, jeopardizing BTC. Bitcoins are now classified by the IRS as "property" "instead of" as legal tender money, meaning capital gains taxes are owed on transactions. I mentioned this danger in my talk; a similar problem afflicts the re-adoption of gold or silver as money.  But as I noted in the Q&A to my talk, I am not persuaded that bitcoins are ownable resources—things subject to property rights. The IRS here assumes that something is either money or property. This is one danger of BTC advocates using the language of property rights to describe bitcoins. I would argue that bitcoins are not legally owned and thus capital gains taxes are not applicable—or at least, this is one argument the target of a government tax evasion suit might want to use.


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