Tag: Bitcoin

BitCoin’s Popularity Is Undermining Promises of Anonymity

The virtual currency Bitcoin has soared in value against the U.S. dollar in recent months, topping out a staggering $913 USD to 1 Bitcoin (or BTC) as of late Tuesday. The currency had many ups and downs since it was launched in January 2009. But its main attraction, all along, has been anonymity. Unlike any other online payment system, Bitcoin transactions – like cash transactions – cannot be traced back to specific individuals. Also like cash, they cannot be reversed. Both those factors give Bitcoin users the confidence that their online purchasing activity – whether computer hardware or contraband will remain private. But a group of researchers at two U.S. universities have released a paper that suggests reports of Bitcoin’s anonymity may (to paraphrase Twain) “be greatly exaggerated.” Specifically: the researchers found that, by culling a variety of open source data using public data from the Bitcoin Peer to Peer network and from […]

A Bitcoin

Beware BitCoin Users: The Tax Man Cometh!

Beware you barrons of BitCoin – you World of Warcraft one-percenters: the long arm of the Internal Revenue Service may soon be reaching into your treasure hoard to extract Uncle Sam’s fair share of your virtual treasure. That’s the conclusion of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on virtual economies, which found that many types of transactions in virtual economies – including bitcoin mining and virtual currency transactions that result in real-world profit – are likely taxable under current U.S. law, but that the IRS does a poor job of tracking such business activity and informing buyers and sellers of their duty to pay taxes on virtual earnings. The report, “Virtual Economies and Currencies: Additional IRS Guidance Could Reduce Tax Compliance Risks” (GAO-13-516) was released this week. It was prepared in response to a request from the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, which asked GAO to look into virtual […]