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cryptoanalyzer
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January 12, 2017, 12:55:18 AM
 #21

Dear BTC/Crypto Legal Forum:

As an experienced BTC attorney I'm happy to answer all questions here.

I have noticed some misinformation in some answers here. When it comes to taxes, laws and regulations, guessing or opinions are not helpful and can easily lead to problems. Most solutions to all the questions here can be summed up in a few short answers.

I can only give legal advice to laws in the United States but can discuss other countries in general terms. I've been involved as an attorney and a miner in BTC and Crypto's for 3 years. During that time I have represented many client's involved in our crypto world. Happy Mining!

George D. Greenberg, Esq.
AttorneyBitcoin
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
www.attorneybitcoin.com


Great. Can tell me about bitcoin and taxes?
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AttorneyBitcoin
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January 12, 2017, 06:43:40 AM
 #22

To the best of my understanding. When I keep BTC in BTC any income I make in BTC is not taxable as to Federal Income Tax. When I cash out BTC, and have made a profit, that is taxable as income. State taxation laws will vary. Can you be more specific about the situation you are seeking clarification on please?

Best:

George D. Greenberg, Esq.

www.attorneybitcoin.com

ryancstl23
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January 12, 2017, 11:32:11 AM
 #23

Hi can you tell me if you need first: An MSB, second, FinCEN Registration, and 3rd, an established Compliance/AML/KYC Program, to sell bitcoins on places like LocalBitcoins? If so/not, is there a minimum amount of trading before you fall under the regulations?

Is selling bitcoins on localbitcoins, via a registered Money Transmitter Service (like Paypal or Western Union), 100% Legal without an MSB/Transmitter License?

Based on the FinCEN advisory letter, it seems like even if you buy & sell on an exchange like Coinbase, you, the user, would still be considered a Money Transmitter (thus required to become an MSB legally), is that false?

Also, I realize many of these issues are different by state, so if you could, please refer to either federal law or your state (I think you said Nevada) laws thanks.

P.S.S: I read that if you earn income as Bitcoin, then you record the dollar value of it that day, and any changes in value from the initial earnings value counts as capital gains/losses, but not sure about that.
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January 14, 2017, 04:04:13 AM
 #24

As to being a MSB and getting a Money Transmitter License that depends upon the State. As to FinCEN the activities are considered money transmission but that only applies to keeping and implementing some sort of KYC/AML procedures. These are differences if you are doing it as an individual or as business entity. Once you operate as a business entity you will get more scrutiny. The problems are not really the regulations, you can overcome that, but rather getting banks to do business with you. 

It is the nature of the business activity, not the amounts, that determines whether it is a M.T. business. There are however reporting requirements to FinCEN that depend upon the amounts of the transactions whether or not the activity is as an individual or as a business entity.

The State of Nevada does not currently hold BTC trading as a Money Transmission activity.

I do not have an answer as to the capital gains. Please speak to a CPA.

George D. Greenberg, Esq.

www.attorneybitcoin.com
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January 18, 2017, 12:45:28 AM
 #25

George,

I do Bitcoin research that involves attempting to crack keys that were generated with non-standard tools (e.g. http://fc16.ifca.ai/preproceedings/36_Vasek.pdf). I am curious as to your opinion on the following:

* What law(s), if any, would be broken if I were to used cracked private keys to take the Bitcoin for myself? To be clear, I don't believe this would be ethical, and wouldn't do it even if it didn't break any laws, but I'm nonetheless interested in the legal aspects.

* Would it be legal to create a transaction with the coins in an attempt to alert the owner, provided I paid the fees for such a transaction myself and the transaction kept the coins in the same address? If not, what law do you believe this would violate?

* Would it be legal to move the coins into an address I control, then make a good faith effort to find the rightful owner? If so, what would be appropriate to require in terms of verification? What happens if the rightful owner cannot be found for a long time?

* Is there any way to get standing to have a court to rule on any of this without exposing myself to criminal prosecution?

My current MO is not to touch any coins I find private keys for and avoid publishing the keys, and I'm not going to change that unless I get a really solid opinion from a lawyer in my state that says I can.
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January 18, 2017, 08:23:10 AM
 #26

I appreciate your ethics. I believe that your business idea is similar in the probate world to "heir finder" services. When a person dies and leaves an estate but has no family, heirs, beneficiaries, co-owners or the like, if no-one can be found then the estate "escheats" to the state. Here in Nevada it escheats (goes by default) to the state for educational purposes.

There are services that search for records of heirs on these types of estates. If they find the heir they charge a fee, usually a percentage, to share the information with that person so that person (usually the next of kin, distant relative) can then claim the money or estate through probate.

Another example is storage units, like on the t.v. shows. If the rent is not paid, then the storage company has to do legal notices, depending upon the state's laws, and after a period of time can put the unit up for auction to satisfy unpaid rent.

Another example is where a tenant abandons and leaves personal property, there are statutory notices that must be done before the property can be sold to satisfy damages to the property or unpaid rent.

As to this particular situation, I would like to discuss it with you further, but privately. Please PM me here and we can continue our conversation as to the details of legally and ethically locating and claiming abandoned BTC or other coins.

Best:

George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin

canhchuacaro1
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January 18, 2017, 09:00:30 AM
 #27

hello lawyer
I'm really curious. Bitcoin actually banned in some countries? can you tell me why it is forbidden? and how it affects
please answer my questions
sincerely thank you
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January 18, 2017, 10:13:18 PM
 #28

I have not researched BTC being banned in some countries. I can guess that certain Governments want to maintain control over transactions of value in order to obtain a tax on those transactions; or to maintain a control over the population. Repressive regimes and fascists are capable of all types of controlling behaviors.

George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin.com
 
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January 18, 2017, 10:31:29 PM
 #29

Yes I am an attorney. If you had bothered to check you would have seen that I have been in practice 24 years. I am transparent and public. Are you? Or are you just hiding and throwing out defamatory statements? 

My Nevada Bar number is 4278

www.attorneybitcoin.com

www.probateattorneyslasvegas.com

Law Offices of George D. Greenberg
7674 W. Lake Mead #245
Las Vegas, Nevada 89128

702 796 5221

Stop on by anytime so I can serve you with a summons and complaint for defamation.

Now to your question/statement: Purchasing Monero with BTC is quite different than purchasing real property with BTC. Although you pose a thought provoking scenario. If you purchase Monero you are still in the crypto world. This is not a taxable event. Talk to a CPA familiar with this and see if you get a different answer.  If you convert virtual currency to a real property purchase this takes the virtual currency out of the virtual currency world, and in my opinion, this would be equivalent to converting to fiat. Any gains previously made on the virtual currency would then become taxable as income, IN MY OPINION.

While I am not a tax attorney I HAVE studied this issue. Problems do arise in the characterization of BTC (and other virtuals.) BTC has elements of fiat, of securities and of personal property/commodities. So it depends upon who is regulating it and for what purposes. The previous question was regarding taxes on a virtual crypto purchasing another virtual crypto.

BTW, have you seen a house for sale that will accept BTC?  I think that would be rare or non-existent.

Respectfully:

George D. Greenberg, Esq.

 

You can buy anything with btc including homes.

https://www.bitpremier.com/5-real-estate
canhchuacaro1
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January 19, 2017, 06:41:17 AM
 #30

I have not researched BTC being banned in some countries. I can guess that certain Governments want to maintain control over transactions of value in order to obtain a tax on those transactions; or to maintain a control over the population. Repressive regimes and fascists are capable of all types of controlling behaviors.

George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin.com
 

In your opinion, why do those country ban Bitcoin? Has Bitcoin to be the cause of crime?
AttorneyBitcoin
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January 20, 2017, 02:43:09 AM
 #31

Bitcoin is not "criminal" in and of itself anymore than owning a kitchen knife. It is how people choose to use it that can cause concerns for governments. Yes, BTC can be used as a sort of anonymous way of money laundering or extortion but there are many other ways to achieve those illegal goals. It is my understanding however that true anonymity is pretty difficult to achieve.

BTC, like a kitchen knife, can and is used for many laudable functions. It has lower costs, cuts out multiple middlemen, it is very secure, and most importantly, it's just plain cool! Lol!


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George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin.com
canhchuacaro1
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January 20, 2017, 06:51:06 AM
 #32

Bitcoin is not "criminal" in and of itself anymore than owning a kitchen knife. It is how people choose to use it that can cause concerns for governments. Yes, BTC can be used as a sort of anonymous way of money laundering or extortion but there are many other ways to achieve those illegal goals. It is my understanding however that true anonymity is pretty difficult to achieve.

BTC, like a kitchen knife, can and is used for many laudable functions. It has lower costs, cuts out multiple middlemen, it is very secure, and most importantly, it's just plain cool! Lol!


Best:

George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin.com

thank you for your support
the consultant of you will help me very much
you are so kind, I will contact here if you have any other questions
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January 20, 2017, 07:18:43 AM
 #33

I have not researched BTC being banned in some countries. I can guess that certain Governments want to maintain control over transactions of value in order to obtain a tax on those transactions; or to maintain a control over the population. Repressive regimes and fascists are capable of all types of controlling behaviors.

George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin.com
 

In your opinion, why do those country ban Bitcoin? Has Bitcoin to be the cause of crime?

the existence of the bitcoin is very useful for all the good of the poor, middle and rich though, even in the presence of bitcoin is certainly a lot of business opportunities that we can for example by trading, steaking, mining and others,
although there are some countries that prohibit the use of bitcoin, but that does not diminish the value of bitcoin presence was very useful for us all,,, including our presence here through Bitcoin we're in this forum

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January 20, 2017, 07:43:30 AM
 #34

i'm not from usa or canada, but how it work when someone use bitcoin directly to buy stuff on the web and he earning them with mining only no trading and no capital gain involved?

he need to pay taxes anyway? and how is IRS going to trace people that do this? how can they we know what he bought especially if  the item is bought from another country, like here on the forum?
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January 20, 2017, 07:44:30 AM
 #35

You should probably PM me about this discussion.

Best:

George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin.com



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January 21, 2017, 02:09:00 AM
 #36

Hello AttorneyBitcoin,
It has been a pleasure reading your replies so far. Thanks for taking the time.

People talk about mining BTC and having to pay tax on that based on the daily or monthly cost of Bitcoin as income, but I have not seen anyone mention altcoins mining as income. People who mine at launches are effectively mining at a price of zero is that logical and/or correct?

It is my understanding that if you bought the Monero with BTC then you have not made a conversion to fiat and it is not a taxable event.
Best:
George D. Greenberg, Esq.
www.attorneybitcoin.com

Based on the quote if someone mined Monero at launch for a month then held for half a year and traded to bitcoin they would not be liable for income tax as the mining basis cost was zero, and the conversion to BTC is not a taxable event in your opinion.

Are you advising that anyone who had no initial fiat investment in cryptocurrency aside from their research time (and incidentals such as electricity) who mined alts at launch, and traded cryptocurrencies to other cryptocurrencies who amassed some wealth like we see every day people brag about on twitter and this forum have no tax liability in the US until they cash out into fiat or something with a traditional store of value? (holy hell thats a run-on sentence) I figure most people hope that this is the case as they can just fly under the radar until they decide to come forward into fiat from crypto.

Seems you advise to hold off on paying capital gains until a transaction takes you outside the crypto-crypto bubble. Inevitably a transaction like that would be classed as short term capital gains if you were an active crypto <--> crypto trader. So is it advisable to set aside 33% of any crypto cash outs to pay taxes on?

Thanks,

$MAID & $BTC other than that some short hodls and some long held garbage.
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January 21, 2017, 10:30:32 AM
 #37

I have a question
Is Bitcoin virtual currency recognized by everyone?
it has been legally protected or not?
if my wallet compromised Bitcoin, who can guarantee my rights?
Please rep my question, thanks for your support
AttorneyBitcoin
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January 24, 2017, 07:18:34 AM
 #38

Sorry for the delay. I've been downloading staking wallets and trying to get masternodes up as well. No easy trick.

I would like to respond to Jasonmoney first then to Canchuacaro1 next.

It is not the tax basis I was addressing, I was addressing the conversion from Monero to BTC. That conversion, in and of itself in my opinion is not a taxable event.

Once you convert the BTC to fiat or use it to purchase good or services, then you are looking at declaring the portion converted or used as income.

Yes, it is my opinion that it is not income until converted, even if a miner used POW and then converted the alt to BTC.

Capital Gains is a separate issue. As to the fascinating POW example you gave, how would you figure the cost basis? You state "zero." Okay lets say it is zero (which is debatable;) you absolutely must itemize and deduct all costs and expenses, including but not limited to the cost of the hardware, electricity, consultations regarding the coin that you mined, fees in mining, transferring, converting, as well as declare LOSES. Just like gamblers we tend to hear about the "killings" people make in coins and not hear about the losses.

There are certainly very clever men and women out there who jump all over POW, mine that coin aggressively, then take profit. However, I think if we look at this realistically there will be measurable loses along the way: Alt coins that plummet in price, that are de-listed, BTC drops in price, hacking losses, ETC.

I am not a tax attorney, I express my legal opinions here. I do not advise to hold off on preparing to pay for income and capital gains taxes and your suggestion to set aside sufficient funds to pay ALL taxes is a prudent one. Everyone doing that? Lol!  It is a matter of risk tolerance. Some of my clients are risk takers and don't mind living with uncertainty; others want certainty and to not worry. Most do this as a hobby or avocation which is fine, but earnings and gains are still subject to tax rules once you convert or start to blur the line between crypto and fiat, especially if this is how you make your living.

Respectfully:

George D. Greenberg, Esq.

www.attorneybitcoin.com

 



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January 24, 2017, 07:25:57 AM
 #39

I have a question
Is Bitcoin virtual currency recognized by everyone?
it has been legally protected or not?
if my wallet compromised Bitcoin, who can guarantee my rights?
Please rep my question, thanks for your support

Bitcoin is NOT recognized by everyone. Many people have never heard of it. If your wallet is compromised you are not going to be covered by FDIC insurance, credit card refunds, bank reimbursement or the like. These warnings have been expressed by several Attorney Generals in the different states. Consumer Protection is a key issue with Bitcoin and virtuals.

There are measures you can take to better secure your coins. Don't keep too much in any coin or wallet. Try to diversify investments and ventures. Use due diligence to better understand the reputation of a coin, a company or a given venture. Educate yourself as to the problems that may arise, or the degree of risk you are taking.

For example with coin wallets you can back up your coins to a separate hard drive. This web site and others are important to assess reputation. Thank you for the question:

Best:

George D. Greenberg, Esq.

Attorneybitcoin.com
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January 24, 2017, 08:25:28 AM
 #40

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions here.

I have asked this question here some time before but was not able to get much help. When running a bitcoin exchange site, do I need to follow the bitcoin regulations of the countries of all the site's users?

I was looking at localbitcoins.com which is based in Finland but does not engage in trade with New York residents because the site does not comply with the New York bitlicense. This is what really puzzles me; does a non-US based company need to comply with US law (register as MSB and comply with FINCEN etc..) in order to trade bitcoins with US citizens/residents?
Considering that the company has no physical presence in the US I don't understand why localbitcoins needs to comply with the laws of US states.

 
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