Since the beginning of 2022, I’ve been pounding the pavement to talk to brick-and-mortar merchants about accepting bitcoin as payment, as I described in my previous piece with Bitcoin Magazine† There are a few key talking points that keep coming back:
- Owners “know” about Bitcoin because it has been in the news almost every day for the past few years, but their knowledge beyond that is very limited.
- Accountants discourage their clients from getting involved in bitcoin payments and having them on their balance sheets.
I’ll break down each of the points I mentioned above.
First, every business owner I spoke to knows Bitcoin. Their understanding of it varies, from nothing to, I would say, a general idea. Not many people have ventured down the rabbit hole, but some have at least dealt with Bitcoin before. As a community, I think there is still a need for Bitcoiners to educate people more. I don’t mean the technicalities of how it works or why you need it. On the contrary, how to use the application such as perform transactions, how to use it to pay for services or goods, etc. People need to see the flow of bitcoin visually, how it really works.
For example, I use BTCPay Server as setup to act as a payment terminal. I make a transaction and when it’s time to pay, I pull out my mobile wallet, Zeus, and pay the QR bill. Just like that, the owners are blown away. Why? Because by showing people how it works right in front of them, their tune changes very quickly. It leads to more questions and conversations about Bitcoin.
Second, this response was actually an eye opener for me. It even prompted me to ask around in the Bitcoin community about input and experiences you may have had with an accountant. That led me to a more general question: Do tax accountants discourage their clients from dealing with bitcoin? There could be several reasons for this:
- The accountants themselves have no idea about Bitcoin.
- Most accountants are “boomers” and anything new or (like the point above) they would just rather avoid it and not deal with it.
- Is the US tax code harsh and/or different when it comes to traders holding bitcoin on their balance sheet versus another asset?
- Or is there a huge market opportunity for new accountants who understand tax law and bitcoin?
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It seems that the Bitcoin community needs well-trained accountants who not only understand Bitcoin but are also able to explain to their clients the various intricacies of Bitcoin taxes. These accountants would be valuable additions to the community if we really want companies and individuals to use bitcoin.
This is a guest post from Anthony Feliciano. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine†