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Lost Money on Crypto? Here's How to Recoup at Tax Time

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You can recover a substantial amount of money lost during this year’s crypto rout by dropping down federal income tax brackets. Here’s a detailed guide on how it works.
Lost Money on Crypto? Here's How to Recoup at Tax Time
Contents

Last Thanksgiving, Bitcoin was in the middle of a bull run that would result in a record high of $19,511 just before Christmas. Now, Bitcoin is worth just $3,752.

If you bought Bitcoin and other cryptos when their prices were high, there’s a silver lining around the gray state of crypto markets now: any losses you take this year could place you in a lower tax bracket. What’s more, claiming those losses is easier than you might assume.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to file your crypto losses.

Filing Your Crypto Taxes 101: How Does it Work?

For the purposes of taxation, the US and most other governments consider cryptocurrencies to be assets. This means that whenever you trade cryptocurrency, the transaction falls into one of two categories: a capital gain or a capital loss.

  • Capital gain. A capital gain occurs when you sell cryptocurrency for more than the amount that you paid to purchase it.

  • Capital loss. If you sell cryptocurrency for less than the amount that you paid for it, this is considered to be a capital loss.

You have to sell or buy an asset to trigger a taxable gain or loss. Once you decide to make a move, tax authorities consider the loss to be “realized.” If your loss is great enough, you may be able to use it to enter a lower tax bracket.

Deducting Your Crypto Losses

One of the biggest benefits of claiming a loss is that you can offset income gained from other sources.

In the US, the IRS lets you deduct up to $3,000 worth of net capital losses each year from the amount of money you’ve earned at your day job. If the amount you lost was greater than $3,000, you can get another deduction of up to $3,000 when you file your taxes next year.  

If you currently make just over $50,000 per year at your job, that $3,000 cryptocurrency loss could place you in a lower tax bracket. This could result in thousands of dollars of tax savings.

What’s more, if you’ve earned some income through stocks or through the sale of property, there’s no limit to the amount you can deduct from those revenues.

Examples

Here’s a look at the 2018 tax brackets for single individuals.

If your crypto tax loss puts you below the $38,700 mark, you’d only have to pay $952.50 plus 12% of any amount over $9,525. But if you made $38,701 or more, you’d have to pay over four times as much in taxes, plus 22% of any amount over $38,700.

In other words, if you fail to deduct your crypto losses and you fall into the third bracket as a result, you’d have to pay at least $4,453.50 to the IRS. But if you do file your losses and make it into bracket two, you’d pay just $952.50.

Total tax savings: $3,501.50.

Tax Single

If you’re married and filing jointly or widowed, moving into a lower tax bracket can result in even more tax savings. If you made $77,402 in 2018, you’d have to pay the IRS $8,907 and change.

Dropping down to the $19,051-$77,400 tax bracket by filing a crypto loss would save you $7,002.

Tax

How Does Crypto Mining Income Affect Taxes?

In addition to cryptocurrency traders, cryptocurrency miners can use deductions to reach lower tax brackets.

A notice that the IRS published in March of 2014 provides some relevant details:

“...when a taxpayer successfully “mines” virtual currency, the fair market value of the virtual currency as of the date of receipt is includible in gross income.”

If the value of the cryptocurrency you mined decreased and you decide to sell it, then that would mean that you have triggered a capital loss. You can report this loss in the same way that you would if you bought and then sold your coins through an exchange.

IRS analysts told CNBC that electricity costs and other expenses may be written off as well.

Here’s Where It Gets Complicated...

Figuring out how much you’ve made or lost can be a headache, particularly if you haven’t been keeping track of your purchases or if you placed a huge amount of trade orders last year.  

Sorting out how much you lost or earned requires access to historical pricing data. Without that historical data, you won’t be able to determine what the price of your crypto asset was when you bought and sold it.

Cryptocurrency Tax Tools

Fortunately, there is software available that can crunch all your crypto tax data for you.

The tool depicted below, called CoinTracking.info, can import your transactions from all your cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. The interface walks you through how to do the imports.

At the end of the import process, you can download IRS form 8949. This is the form you need to submit to report your loss.

Other download options include CSV, TaxACT and TurboTax.

Tax-Report

Watch Out for Self-proclaimed “Crypto Accountants”

If you use a crypto tax calculator to do your own taxes, filing your taxes is a straightforward process. All you have to do is take the total from IRS form 8949 and transfer that to IRS form 1040 Schedule D.

In fact, most CPAs that work with crypto traders use CoinTracking and other publicly available software to determine what their clients owe. These tools are not difficult to use. Many have free trials, which let you see how they work for yourself before you commit.

Conclusion

If you lost money in crypto markets last year, you may be able to offset some-- or perhaps even all-- of those losses at tax time. Reporting your capital losses might help you move to a lower tax bracket. If your deductions qualify you for a lower bracket, filing them could save you thousands of dollars when you submit your taxes this year.

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Bitcoin Obituaries Keep Rising But Why Is Bitcoin Still Not Dead?

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Bitcoin has been pronounced dead multiple times in its 10-year life; its recent fall brought about another obituary, but why is it that Bitcoin is NOT dead?
Bitcoin Obituaries Keep Rising But Why Is Bitcoin Still Not Dead?
Contents

A popular site called 99Bitcoins keeps a close eye on the number of times that Bitcoin has been declared dead in the mainstream media. Currently, it has accrued 336 obituaries for the digital currency.

The latest drop in the price of Bitcoin, which took it from the mid-$6,000 mark down to near on $3,000, sparked fresh panic and capitulation as many believed that the cryptocurrency had had its last days.

There were concerns over its utility and usefulness, as well as the potential for a so-called death spiral in the mining of Bitcoin as many miners shut up shop. Yet, Bitcoin continues to exist, and at time of writing, has bounced back to over $4,000.

So what is it that is keeping Bitcoin alive? It has no CEO, no company headquarters, and because of its decentralised nature, has no one to drive it to keep it alive; it relies solely on those who are interested in it.

The underlying blockchain

Bitcoin, or cryptocurrencies in general, have a very special relationship to their underlying technology, blockchain. They are of course dependent on each other to operate, but they also move independently of each other in many respects.

Blockchain is advancing in a very different path to that of Bitcoin, but it was Bitcoin’s initial explosion in the mainstream financial space that made people take blockchain seriously.

Now that the cryptocurrency bubble has essentially burst, there is a lot less hype and interest in it. However, blockchain, the technology behind it all, is getting a chance to come out and shine for its technological reasons alone.

For this reason, Bitcoin is still very much relevant. Blockchain progression is building steadily, and solidly, and because of its adoption across all centres, people still appreciate the usefulness of a digital token.

Bitcoin, as the major digital token that encapsulates all the main points of cryptocurrency and blockchain — such as decentralisation and transparency, and of course distribution — is the epitome of a functioning token economy.

Manageable mining

Another reason why Bitcoin hasn’t totally capitulated is because of its built in mining difficulty adjustment. Many people feared that Bitcoin could go under if the miners, an important part of any proof-of-work cryptocurrency, decided to abandon Bitcoin because of the increased difficulty and the loss of profitability.

Indeed, when the price dropped significantly in November, many miners did shut down and the hash rate also fell. But, because Bitcoin has a built in adjustment, the lower hash rate caused the mining difficulty to increase, and thus caused profitability to increase again, enticing miners back.

With more miners mining, there was increased health and activity on the blockchain, which leads to better interest and investment in the markets. This, in turn and in a compound way, then helps boost the price and drive more miners back in, again increasing profit and price.

Shedding the speculators

There is also a big difference between a burst speculative bubble and the death of a market. Some markets can be destroyed by the bubble pop, but in the case of Bitcoin, it is mirroring the dot com bubble because it has a similar nature.

With its underlying blockchain equitable to the internet, and the ICO hype and other factors equitable to Dot Com companies, one can see that this type of burst bubble is a chance for Bitcoin to shed its foolish speculative investors, and allow for those who are serious and successful to rebuild the market based on the important technology underneath.

Bitcoin will continue to be called dead, and erroneously so because it has only hit the mainstream in the last 18 months or so.

However, if one is to zoom out a bit, one would see that an investor who bought Bitcoin two years ago rather than, say, one year ago, would still be over 300 percent up on their investment.

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Gov’t of India Reportedly Plans to Regulate Crypto, What’s the Motive?

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The government of India is exploring the possibility of legalizing crypto and regulating exchanges
Gov’t of India Reportedly Plans to Regulate Crypto, What’s the Motive?
Contents

Several local publications have reported that the government of India is exploring the possibility of regulating crypto.

At an official government meeting hosted by the interdisciplinary committee, a task force led by members of the Ministry of Economics and information Technology and the Ministry of Home Affairs, the committee ruled in favor of regulating cryptocurrencies with strict policies.

Sudden Change in Stance Toward Crypto

In April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading, prohibiting the country’s financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrency-related businesses.

The unexpected ban on cryptocurrency exchanges implemented by the country’s central bank effectively disallowed trading platforms from obtaining banking services from local financial institutions.

Several exchanges tried to pivot to cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading but with the dominance of Binance, OKEx, Huobi, and other crypto-only exchanges, local digital asset trading platforms failed to compete and shut down their businesses.

At the time, the RBI threatened to end its relationship with any local bank that deals with digital asset exchanges. A circular released by the central bank read:

“In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs (virtual currencies). Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time.”

In July, industry leaders, associations, and companies challenged the controversial decision of the RBI by filing a complaint with the Supreme Court of India. Within several months after the filing, the court ruled in favor of the RBI, allowing the central bank to impose a ban on cryptocurrency trading.

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However, on December 26, a senior government official told The New Indian Express in an interview that the government believes cryptocurrencies cannot be dismissed as illegal currencies and the asset class has to be regulated with strict policies.

“We have already had two meetings. There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalised with strong riders. Deliberations are on. We will have more clarity soon,” the official said.

The change in the stance toward cryptocurrencies from the government of India likely comes from its acknowledgement of the risk in unregulated cryptocurrency trading. By placing a ban on digital asset exchanges, it forced investors out of a self-regulated market to unregulated peer-to-peer and over-the-counter markets that are difficult to regulate and monitor.

If the intent of the government is to prevent money laundering through the usage of cryptocurrencies, a more effective way of doing so is to allow cryptocurrency trading on exchanges with strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems in place.

When Could It Take Place?

Many reports were released in the past anticipating the legalization of cryptocurrencies by the government of India. Yet, the government showed no signs of regulating the asset class in the past 12 months.

With the G20 agreeing to regulate cryptocurrencies to crack down on money laundering, India, which is a part of the G20, could follow the global trend of regulating the asset class.

Given the history of India in the cryptocurrency sector, it may take several months to potentially years before cryptocurrency trading is revitalized and completely legalized with stable banking services provided by local financial institutions.

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GameCredits Bittrex Review: The Detailed Guide for Beginners

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GameCredits (GAME) is an in-game payment platform that is poised to become a major disruptor in the multibillion-dollar gaming industry
GameCredits Bittrex Review: The Detailed Guide for Beginners
Contents

GAME (a.k.a. GameCredits) is an innovative cryptocurrency that has been very popular within the international gaming community. Thanks to the recent strategic partnerships with Microsoft and Xsolla, the team behind GAME crypto managed to achieve the incredible leap in promotion of this cryptocurrency.

Why should you exchange GameCredits on Bittrex?

There are so many exchange services out there. Why should you use the services of Bittrex in order to exchange or trade your GAME coins? The main advantage for beginners — Bittrex has never been hacked unlike other large platforms. Since 2017 all user accounts of this U.S. exchange service are solidly protected.

Also, this project implements the multi-level wallets strategy. About 90% of customer funds are stored offline. 2-factor authorization is offered for users (in particular, for withdrawal of their funds from wallets). If it is not activated, the exchange sets certain limits on withdrawals.

Features of Bittrex for GAME users

Bittrex offers a modern trading platform that is always accessible offline. If you type GAME in the search field on the main page, you will instantly see the chart with prices changing in real time. For example, currently (5th December 2018) you may see that the price of 1 GAME in the pair USD/GAME on Bittrex is $0.07.

Below the chart is a window with platform’s apps. The platform is designed for both beginners and experienced traders. You may check the possibility of a thorough technical analysis of any assets using technical indicators is implemented.

By default, an algorithm for calculating volumes is set straight on the chart of GAME/USD and GAME/BTC. The site features 450 currency pairs traded with Bitcoin. There are quite good trading opportunities with both BTC and ETH for GAME owners.

However, Bittrex does not have currency pairs with fiat money. Buying Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether is possible by bank transfer. In order to use this service, you must pass the account verification. Traders have the opportunity to open different types of orders.

For example, they can buy GAME and other available assets at the market price or choose pending orders for the purchase of a particular cryptocurrency at the desired value. The only drawback - Bittrex does not offer any margin trading.

Deposit and withdrawal of GAME funds of the Bittrex exchange provides wide opportunities for those who want to replenish their account and withdraw money from it with GAME cryptocurrency. Two stages of verification actually mean that the base level is the inclusion of 2FA and filling in the "About me" fields. To withdraw more money (more than 4 BTC), full verification is required.

Currently, there are two types of accounts on Bittrex:

  • Basic. Users provide name, address of residence, indicate the date of birth. This data is verified through open sources (social networks, for example). However, if security officers of the company fail to verify the information, more detailed verification will already be required with the participation of the user;

  • Advanced. To open such accounts, the user must provide scanned copies of identification documents along with a selfie attached;

How to buy and sell GAME on Bittrex?

According to almost any user’s review of GameCredits on Bittrex, the website offers the opportunity to trade market and limit orders. The first allows you to buy a cryptocurrency at the current price at which it is offered on the market.

Let’s suppose, GAME coin is worth $1. A user wants to buy it and is ready to pay that price. In this case, he chooses a market order, enters the volume of the transaction and presses the “Buy” button. If the user already has bitcoins and he wants to sell them, at the same time, the current price on the market fully suits him, this can also be done by placing a market order, only for sale.

Fees for services here are considered average for the global market. Bittrex charges 0.25% commission for all transactions. At the same time, payments from traders can be reduced depending on the time of the user’s trading status.

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Aeron’s ARN token is now available in EOS ecosystem

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Good news for EOS traders: Aeron’s ARN token is introduced in EOS ecosystem for instant bi-directional ARN ERC-20 ⇄ EOS swap
Aeron’s ARN token is now available in EOS ecosystem
Contents

Aeron, the innovative blockchain-based aviation safety project, extends its reach to EOS ecosystem and allows for Ethereum ERC20 and EOS token swap in both directions. That will boost liquidity of the token and help Aeron strengthen its position on the market. Let’s find out how it works, and define the advantages that platform users will reap.

A few words about Aeron

Aeron project was created by experienced pilots and aviation experts to improve the aviation safety and provide comprehensive tools for flight schools and private aircraft owners and operators. Aeron features ARN ERC20-compliant token that can be simply integrated into users’ wallets and traded via exchanges and direct transfers. The fixed token supply is 20,000,000 ARN.

Aeron can be used by both aviation companies and their clients

At the moment, ARN ERC20 token is present on the major cryptocurrency exchanges: Binance, KuCoin, HitBTC and many others. Introduction of ARN into EOS ecosystem offers even more liquidity to the holders with access to the new EOS decentralized exchanges, which feature instant execution and even more convenience for users to manage their assets.

Possibilities and perspectives

With ARN token launch on the EOS blockchain, free cross-blockchain token swap is available for all Aeron token holders. From the first day, ARN EOS token is listed in all significant EOS decentralized exchanges, and MEET.ONE, the most popular EOS wallet, supports this token natively as well.

Cross-blockchain token swap is performed at 1:1 ratio: once an ERC20 token is locked, the EOS equivalent is released, and vice versa. Therefore the new ARN EOS token value is totally backed by the legacy ARN ERC20 tokens on Ethereum blockchain.

Can users keep both types of tokens? Yes, ARN EOS and ARN ERC20 tokens may be kept on different wallets and exchanged at any time. Some wallets support EOS and ERC20 tokens simultaneously. The swap isn’t obligatory, so token holders are free to use this option depending on their needs. According to Aeron, the exchange option will be available 24/7 and permanently – no time limits apply.

There are two key advantages:

  • Swap is totally free, no matter in which direction it’s made.

  • No token burning is involved, and tokens can be swapped back freely.

Instant ARN ERC20/EOS swap opens new possibilities for ARN token holders making the asset more liquid and convenient in handling, opening up EOS ecosystem famous for its instant transactions and low fees. There’s no need to surf the net in search of suitable swap options: secure token swap is performed on the Aeron website.  ARN EOS token can be further traded on Newdex, Chaince, WhaleEx, Findex, BTEX and other new EOS exchanges.

With the introduction of new EOS stable coins (EETH, EBTC, EUSD), additional ARN trading pairs will become available to facilitate value exchange and storage in EOS ecosystem.

How to perform a token swap?

In order to swap ARN ERC20 for EOS and vice versa, a user should have an EOS account. It can be registered in MEET.ONE, Paytomat Wallet or other EOS wallets (please, note that it’s a paid option that costs about $2, but sometimes sponsored by the wallet developer).

The ARN token swap is instant and the rate is fixed at 1:1, so ARN token holders won’t have to waste time placing sell/buy orders. They will enjoy a fast swap without fees.

Once EOS account is created, and tokens are swapped, a user can proceed to EOS decentralized exchanges. To register on EOS exchanges, a user will need Scatter software for the authentication process. Installation of Scatter won’t take much time, and it is compatible with all platforms. Alternatively, a QR code can be scanned to authenticate with an exchange directly from the compatible EOS wallet.

Step-by-step guide to ARN token swap

Bottom Line

At the moment, Aeron platform and the pilot shop powered by Aeron support legacy ARN ERC20 token, and EOS token integration will be done gradually through 2019. EOS salient features, such as low latency, free transactions, and scalability, can serve to improve Aeron token adoption and strengthen the business model. Meanwhile, ARN EOS token can be used by Aeron supporters to get familiar with EOS environment and its peculiarities. As example, EOS blockchain can process up to 4,000 transactions every second, making EOS exchanges the fastest decentralized exchanges in the world.

With the first ever bi-directional ERC20/EOS token swap enabled by Aeron, it may be expected that other blockchain projects will follow this method to expand their community and let the supporters enter the vibrant EOS ecosystem with their favourite tokens.

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Cryptocurrency Markets Turn Green While Bitcoin SV Lags Behind

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A small window of positivity has settled across the cryptocurrency market with most coins seeing double-figure gains
Cryptocurrency Markets Turn Green While Bitcoin SV Lags Behind
Contents

The past few days, since about Saturday last week, the cryptocurrency markets have shown some fight back with there being steady gains in the last two days in particular. Bitcoin has topped near-on $3,800 as the rest of the market basks in its glow.

There are gains for all of the top 20 coins, ranging from six to a staggering 29 percent over the last 24 hours alone. The market going green, after a month-long fall starting on the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, is only just starting to bud, and it remains to be seen if it will last, or be a reversal in fortunes.

Speaking of Bitcoin Cash, its battle continues with the name Bitcoin Cash going to the ABC pool, and that coin being the biggest gainer at 29 percent in the top 20. This has forced the forked coin to sixth on the market cap, and stretched out its lead over rival Bitcoin SV.

SV is now in ninth, and in danger of falling out of the top 10 with the likes of IOTA, Monero and Tron all surging up in value.

Good day for green

As reported yesterday, the difficulty adjustment for Bitcoin mining lowered by about 10 percent recently, and this drop in difficulty is intended to make it more profitable by making it easier to mine Bitcoin.

Therefore, the hash rate of Bitcoin has been rising again as miners are once again just on the right side of being profitable. This ties in with the price and can compound the gains as the more interest and health from miners for the Bitcoin blockchain, the more interest from the market.

If this is indeed the case for Bitcoin’s price rising again, there is every chance that there could be a longish rally, however, a good solid rally has not been seen since more than a year ago when Bitcoin was heading to its All Time High.

Following on

As is often the case, the rest of the altcoins have also profited from Bitcoin and its own gains as most coins are seeing gains in the double figures. Ripple sits in second ahead of Ethereum, but they are both growing well, as are Tron and Stellar.

Bitcoin Cash has grown by nearly 30 percent over the last 24 hours, and just outside the top 10 IOTA, Monero, Binance Coin and Dash are all up over 10 percent. Bitcoin SV is up by nine percent, but in comparison to the chasing pack, it should be concerned about being usurped from the top 10.

Battle-worn Bitcoin Cash

Although both the Bitcoin Cash forks remain in the top 10 of the market cap standing, they have both lost huge value since their split in November. Bitcoin Cash has lost a whopping 45 percent of its value since late November, while Bitcoin SV has dropped 35 percent. This is compared to Bitcoin's 15 percent fall over the same period.

Bitcoin SV has other problems than its market cap standing to worry about, though as there are allegations of users being able to spend the same coins twice in what's known as a "0-conf transaction" double spend. Additionally, there are concerns about its centralisation with four Bitcoin SV network nodes controlling 75% of its hash rate, leaving it vulnerable to attacks and weaker than most decentralized crypto networks.

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