Was Bitcoin’s spectacular surge in November 2013 the result of fraudulent market manipulation by a bot that serious traders are calling “Willy”?
<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Nickolas is an investigative reporter based in New York. With a background in finance and law, Nickolas writes about Bitcoin's latest developments for businesses, investors, and legal professionals.</span>
Bitcoin’s block chain has become well known for its use as a public ledger for digital currency transactions. By harnessing a decentralized network that is now more powerful than the top 500 supercomputers combined, it has removed the need for third parties like banks to verify online transactions, vastly reducing the costs of doing business. The extension of this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way people forms contracts, register domain names, and now, even prove ownership of intellectual property.
The IRS has issued its long-awaited stance on the tax treatment for virtual currencies like Bitcoin (IRS Notice 2014-21). In short, the taxpayer must treat Bitcoin as property for federal tax purposes. The effect of this decision on the viability of the virtual currency is unclear, and small businesses accepting Bitcoin, and their accountants, are scratching their heads as to how this classification will play itself out for daily transactions.