Roger Ver gets 20k retweets to support Ross Ulbricht and his legal fund. CoinDesk unveiled its list of its top eight heroes and villains of the year so far, and it’s a sham I didn’t make at least one of them. European banking regulators tell people to stay away from bitcoin during the BitFin conference that educates hundreds of finance pros. And breaking news is that ISIS just wrote a blog post embracing bitcoin…more on that tomorrow. Until then, let’s kick the holiday hangover with a product review that could save you a ton of time and money.
As promised on Thursday, I’m doing my first ever product review today.
You might recall that Libra Tax, the SF-based bitcoin startup backed by CrossCoin Ventures, announced itself to the world
shortly following the IRS’s ruling on bitcoin’s taxability (a topic I covered in detail
for Investopedia and in brief on the blog). Libra promised that its beta would be available in time for bitcoiners to file their taxes before the September extension deadline, and it appears to be on schedule. I took the company’s beta product for a test drive this past weekend, and using Libra’s beta product helped me organize the sub-accounting of my trading history through Coinbase in such a way that I now have documentation which will save me over $1,000 in tax liabilities from 2013. (Not a typo.)
Given the massive appreciation of bitcoin in 2013, I think others should realize similar savings. Here’s what you can expect from the product (still in private beta).[Insert legal disclaimer about this not being financial or legal tax advice. i.e. Don’t be an idiot and consult this post rather than an “qualified” expert. I may know more about bitcoin tax than 99% of CPAs, but the government doesn’t care.]
It’s relatively straightforward to get started with Libra. After you go through the account creation and verification process, you’ll come to the Libra dashboard, which consists primarily of a clean, blank table which prompts you to import or manually input your various digital currency transactions into the system. (I say digital currency because Libra is built to ultimately accommodate various currencies like ripple and other alt-currencies.) You have the option to connect a Coinbase account, upload a csv file with transaction history from any wallet or manually import data from specific bitcoin addresses. Libra will actually scour the block chain to pull relevant data for a given address’s 500 most recent transactions. In that regard, the tool seems comprehensive.
I tested the Coinbase API several times, and each time Libra was able to pull transaction data quickly and correctly, with negligible bugs in the user flow (e.g. I was taken to an error screen a couple of times when in fact the import completed). For those of you without Coinbase accounts, I also tested the csv uploads and wallet address imports. Both worked as advertised. More importantly, it was easy to add and remove linked accounts and wallets via Libra’s “manage addresses” option. So I didn’t worry about double counting transactions from multiple sources. So far so good.
Whereas I could pull a report directly from Coinbase which shows that I have a $3,936 short-term gain to report using their default FIFO accounting method, I was able to map out my optimal trading activity and the corresponding sub-accounting thanks to Libra’s tool and realize a much smaller $148.15 gain for the year. That’s likely a $1,000+ difference in my personal tax liability.
Benson, a former consultant who specialized in US and Canadian payroll, says the company plans to embrace its freemium model indefinitely, so this invaluable reporting tool won’t cost most people a dime. Future revenues will come, he says, from traders, miners, merchants and even potential partnerships with large wallet providers. In the meantime, if you are a more casual user and bitcoin investor, I recommend you try it out.
It could save you a ton of time and money, especially vs. the grossly inferior alternatives like the default “first-in, first-out” reporting that other hosted wallets provide.Now for Today’s Tid Bits:16,500 ‘Retweet’ for Cash in Support of Ross Ulbricht
Bitcoin magnate, Roger Ver has offered to pay $10 for retweets of his message supporting Ross Ulbricht. Ulbricht is the man allegedly behind Silk Road who was arrested last year. Ver’s tweet has been retweeted more than 16,500 times and the “donation limit has been reached.” The donations raised from Ver’s retweets will be used for Ulbricht’s defense. Ulbricht, the Silk Road ringleader was indicted in February and is awaiting trial on November 3rd. The 8 Biggest Bitcoin Heroes and Villains of 2014 (So Far)http://www.coindesk.com/8-biggest-bitcoin-heroes-villains-2014-far/
As the eventful year for bitcoin continues, a list was complied by Coindesk deciding whom the biggest heroes and villains are for bitcoin thus far. Marc Andreessen, Barry Silbert, Jared Polis, Gavin Andresen, Ben Lawsky, Patrick Byrne, and Mike Hearn are all heroes. While Mark Karpeles, Warren Buffett, Mark T. Williams, Leah McGrath Goodman, Joe Manchin, Jamie Dimon, Seng Song Cheng, and Danny Brewster were classified as villains. CoinJelly Exchange to Offer Debit Cards, Insured Walletshttp://www.coindesk.com/coinjelly-exchange-offer-bitcoin-debit-cards-insured-wallets/
CoinJelly, an Austrialian and Hong Kong based company, is planning to build ‘bank-level,’ servies around bitcoin. The bitcoin company will launch two exchanges and a consumer wallet option featuring an ATM/debit card network, all of which is insured up to AUD$20m ($18.7m), or 20 BTC per costomer. One investor, Peter Anderson, a man who made his fortune of the early days of the Internet economy, is financing the entire company. CoinJelly plants to open account for high-volume traders in 160 countries and make balances available in nine major world currencies. EBA: Financial Institutions Should Avoid Bitcoin, Await Regulationhttp://www.coindesk.com/eba-financial-institutions-avoid-bitcoin-pending-regulation/
The European Banking Authority has published an ‘opinion’ identifying more than 70 risks regarding digital currencies, urging financial institutions to stay away from them until they’re regulated. The EBA does make note of some potential benefits from digital currencies, but believe the risks outweigh the positives. Unsurprisingly, the Bitcoin Foundation has rejected the EBA report’s recommendation that financial institutions should stop investing in bitcoin. Hong Kong Exchange Offers ‘Extreme’ Transparencyhttp://www.coindesk.com/new-hong-kong-bitcoin-exchange-offers-customers-extreme-transparency-measures/
Coinport, a new Hong Kong based exchange, is offering customers ‘extreme’ transparency in hopes of winning over consumers. This includes automatic proof-of-reserves tests, uploading code to Github, and giving customers access to all the exchange’s trading and fund storage data.
Daniel Wang, founder of Coinport, also discussed China’s regulatory environment, admitting it’s difficult to do business bitcoin on mainland China, but remained on bullish on bitcoin’s long term potential in China. IDG Capital Partners provided a seed round of funding for the firm in December, the amount has not yet been disclosed. Texas Family Journeyed to New Hampshire Using Only Bitcoinhttp://www.concordmonitor.com/home/12588401-95/texas-family-journeyed-to-new-hampshire-using-only-bitcoin
Catherine Bleish, her husband, John Bush, and their two kids, 2-year-old Aliana, and 16-month-old Bill drove from Texas to New Hampshire using almost only bitcoin. The family did admit to putting $21 on a credit card, but the rest of the road trip has been financed by bitcoin. With three days left of the trip, the family is on their way back home to Texas. You can follow their journey through Bleish’s blog posts on Bitcoin Magazine found below.
Blog: http://bitcoinmagazine.com/13694/uncoinventional-tour/ How Wisconsin is Helping Lead the Bitcoin Movement Across the Greater US Landscapehttp://www.coindesk.com/wisconsin-helping-lead-bitcoin-movement-across-greater-us-landscape/
A nature preserve in Mequon, Wisconsin is partially funded through bitcoin. Shawn Graff, bitcoin enthusiast, who manages the property uses, donated bitcoin to plant trees on the property. Wisconsin is also home to a small bitcoin meetup, Bitcoin MKE, full of enthusiasts who have in way or another begun to incorporate bitcoin in to their businesses. The Milwuakee Meetup (Bitcoin MKE), or the preserved property may not be big, but it’s example of bitcoin’s increasing popularity, in all parts of the country. Upcoming EventsCoin Congress (July 23-24 in San Francisco)
I’m heading out to San Francisco on July 23-24 for the Coin Congress
, a digital currency conference which will feature speakers from BitAngels, GoCoin, Blockchain, Coinbase, Gyft and other leading bitcoin ventures. You can use the discount code acom-u2014 for 25% off ticket prices at checkout
and follow @CoinCongress
for real-time updates. Hope to meet you there!
I need your feedback on my first ever product review! Want more posts like this? Or never again?
P.S. In lieu of sponsorship for the month of July, I’m donating this ad space to the College Crypto Network. More information to follow tomorrow, but if you would like to sponsor the Daily Bit for the month of August, please let me know.