The Possibility of International Cryptocurrency Taxation: MEW Community Reacts

Last weekend, member states attending the G20 summit reaffirmed their commitment to international cryptocurrency regulation, which may eventually include “a taxation system for cross-border electronic payment services.” The countries are reportedly working on developing such a system, to be put in place by 2020.

Although this tax is far from definite, we were curious to find out how #MEWfam feels about the possibility, and the wonderfully energetic response to our Twitter poll seems to indicate that the feelings are strong!

It was especially gratifying to see so many of our followers take the time to comment — here’s an overview of what we learned.

There Were Arguments For…

Surprisingly, almost a quarter of the respondents supported the idea of global crypto taxation, and provided some thoughtful arguments to defend their position.

A few highlighted the way taxes pay for the infrastructure that makes our lives comfortable and safeguards consumer rights. It seems that before we can make taxes obsolete, new governance institutions have to be created, with individual contributions to the common good regulated by innovative decentralized frameworks.

Others pointed out that legitimizing crypto may give the industry more influence, and that stronger global alliances are a good thing.

…But Mostly Against

Some community members offered radical responses including references to slavery and rebellion, peppered with a bit of strong language!

Most of our respondents made a fair point about the difficulty of defining and enforcing an international taxation system for crypto.

Another fair point — as if governments and international institutions don’t have more pressing problems to solve.

It’s Complicated

Arguably, the crypto community’s frustration may not be about taxation in principle, but the lack of confidence that governments will use taxes in ways that we believe can benefit us.

This is true for fiat as much as crypto, although for cryptocurrency there might be the added disappointment that there are forces at play to undermine the anonymous, decentralized finance solution that early blockchain enthusiasts had hoped for.

With international crypto transactions, the applicable tax laws, enforcement procedures and purposes toward which such taxes will be directed are even less clear. As one of our followers succinctly put it, ‘Where is the border of the internet?’

Some doubt was expressed whether cross-border fiat transactions are taxed. There is no simple answer to this, except that it depends on the specifics of the transaction and that the tax laws of both countries may, and in most cases do, apply.

But It’s Not Just About the Taxes

At the end of the day, cryptocurrency is not simply about avoiding the IRS. As a global community, we are moving toward a different paradigm of financial and political governance guided by decentralized, transparent, borderless solutions. We have yet to figure out how infrastructural and public needs will be addressed in this new world, and we are just at the beginning of this exciting journey…

– MyEtherWallet #teamMEW

Read through all of the great user responses to this poll on our Twitter page, and stay tuned for more thought-provoking surveys and discussions.

Also, follow our publication here on Medium! We are looking forward to bringing you more fun and educational content, including thoughts and suggestions on navigating the crypto space safely, as well as occasional opinion(ated) pieces by our team members and guest bloggers.