Search This Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Cannabis - and Taxes

"Since cryptocurrencies are decentralized and unregulated for the most part, they enable cannabis businesses to accept secure, cashless, and fast payments that can be converted into greenbacks or sent anywhere around the world at competitive speeds."*

I like to research and write about emerging technologies and trends in how we live and work. A long time ago, that is how I gov involved in tax policy and technical matters related to the Internet and e-commerce.  For almost ten years now, it has led me into interesting topics of marijuana (cannabis if that sounds better), virtual currency (or cryptocurrency), and the blockchain. And there is overlap in all of these topics.

Here is a *recent article from Made by Hemp - Utilizing Blockchain Technology in the Cannabis Industry by Alex Moskov, Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. He notes the benefit of greater transparency in connecting transactions and payments via blockchain technology. It can also help with payment processing.

Congress sometimes gets involved with these topics as well. Hearings usually either look at problems with marijuana and crytocurrency, but some look at the opportunities in these fields. On 2/13/19, the House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing - Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses. Legislation called The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (SAFE banking) has been re-introduced in the 116th Congress. One of the witnesses was California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, also a CPA. She noted data on continued growth in the cannabis industry and challenges of businesses not being able have bank accounts. She also noted that she and her predecessor had engaged studies for solutions including a state-run bank. However, the conclusions reached was that "the only effective long-term solution that would produce acceptable results for the financial services sector was to change federal laws and regulations related to offering basic banking services to this growing industry."

Taxes - there are certainly many tax matters in these topics. For the cash in the cannabis industry, it makes non-reporting easier as there may not be a sufficient paper or digital trail. There are safety issues of having large piles of cash around and of taking it to the local, state and IRS offices to make tax payments.

What do you think?

No comments: