Bitcoin: What the future holds for cryptocurrencies
The Bitcoin price had almost reached $US20,000 in 2017 and it appeared to have disrupted financial markets with its potential to enter mainstream. However, a year later, it is trading below $US4,000 and decreasing, losing over 50% of its market capitalisation.
Bitcoin could continue to spiral down, with the price of major alternative coins like Ripple and Ethereum dropping last year as well. Cryptocurrency prices are struggling to find stable ground because of regulatory concerns, mining costs, speculative trading, market manipulation, high power consumption and scepticism from the financial industry.
Regulators across the world are starting to act on cryptocurrencies with Malta and Switzerland becoming hubs while the US and China are cracking down on cryptocurrency markets. The United States market regulator, SEC announced in November 2018 that operators of two initial coin offerings must pay fines and make restitution for selling unlicensed securities.
With the intrusion from regulatory bodies, investors may become wary and decide to abandon cryptocurrencies altogether. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts, on the other hand, believe
say that more investors will get involved because of new products hitting the marketplace, including crypto-specific exchange-traded funds. The SEC however, has not yet granted its approval.
The Australian Taxation Office considers cryptocurrency as an asset class, much like a share or property, so cryptocurrency transactions could be subject to capital gains tax (CGT). A CGT event can occur when you sell, trade, convert or purchase cryptocurrencies and each entity will be treated as a separate CGT asset. If you sell, you could
getreceive a 50% CGT discount, provided that you have had it for over 12 months before using or selling it. If it results in a net capital loss, taxes may be reduced on a capital gain you make the following year.
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The personal use asset may be applied to cryptocurrencies worth below $10,000 which are used for personal consumption only. However, the longer you keep them, the less likely it will considered as a personal use asset.
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