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This article describes a proposal to tax cryptocurrencies based on their unique features.It argues that while various ways of earning or receiving crypto tokens (for example, mining in proof-of-work (PoW) protocols like bitcoin and staking in proof-of-stake (PoS) protocols like ether) generate taxable income, the tax results should take into account positive and negative externalities. It also claims that because of its volatility, crypto should not be taxed until tokens are exchanged for real-world items like fiat currency or goods and services. Finally, this article argues that when crypto tokens are exchanged for fiat currencies or goods and services, they should be treated as foreign currency if held for less than one year.


Reprinted with the permission of Tax Analysts.

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