Brooklyn Law Review


Alex Ankier


In 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2014-21 in an attempt to address issues with cryptocurrency taxation, essentially reaching the conclusion that cryptocurrency must be treated like property for purposes of taxation. In the time since the IRS pronouncement, several academics have called for an alternative treatment known as “currency treatment.” Each treatment inadequately addresses the comprehensive issues surrounding cryptocurrency because they offer wholesale treatment to nuanced issues with valid concerns from each side. To truly allow this emerging industry to flourish and gain societal acceptance, artful policymaking is required. This note provides an example of such policymaking. The tax plan proposed in this note will address a litany of issues, ranging from investment intent, price volatility, treatment of income for “miners,” the criminal element of cryptocurrency, enforcement mechanisms, and cross-regulatory agency efforts, eventually suggesting a three-tiered approach that combines elements of the property and currency treatment approaches for a more comprehensive analysis. Being proactive in addressing these issues will allow the market to embrace a new medium of commercial change that revolutionize the world.