When we began the journey of servicing clients in the digital asset and blockchain space, we weren’t sure what to expect. With any new technology comes uncertainty and discovery of the impact it could have. We began by understanding Bitcoin—how it worked, how it could fail, where it could add value and, of course, how to prepare for the taxation of it. It is worth noting that this is an ongoing journey as Bitcoin continues to develop.

From there, we began to dissect and understand innovations by tapping different aspects of Bitcoin, the most well-known being blockchain technology. We attended national meetings and conferences focused on blockchain, including a 2018 blockchain-focused conference in Cleveland, where we spent an awesome three days networking with industry professionals, builders and developers. We are excited to participate again in the Blockland Solutions 2019 Conference from December 9-11, 2019 in Cleveland and hope to see you there!

Blockchain Developments Over the Past Year

One thing is clear—businesses everywhere share in recognizing the potential of these technologies and continue to discover and implement use cases. Below are just a handful of headlines and developments that caught our attention over the past year.

  • Private blockchain cloud platforms from IBM, Amazon and others allow companies to build blockchain products specifically for their business.
  • Microsoft and other companies announce an investment of R&D into products to be built on public blockchains like Bitcoin and ethereum.
  • Governments and central banks openly discuss building fiat-backed stablecoins to run on blockchain platforms.
  • Gemini, a U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, obtains insurance over digital asset holdings and completes a SOC 1 audit.
  • Fidelity announces the creation of Fidelity Digital Asset Services, which will handle cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for institutional investors.
  • Bitcoin celebrated its 10th birthday on January 3, 2019.
  • Facebook announced plans to create Libra, a cryptocurrency backed by a basket of fiat currencies and other commodities.
  • Libra brings the discussion of cryptocurrency to the House and Senate floors (and the topic results in a tweet from the president).
  • China’s president publicly endorses his country’s focus and investments into the development of blockchain technology.
  • The IRS issues new guidance on cryptocurrency.

Looking ahead

We have no reason to believe next year won’t continue to be as exciting. The debate for Bitcoin’s place in the world will continue. Companies will gain efficiencies as blockchain technology becomes more widely adopted, and new companies will emerge. Federal agencies will continue to develop regulations and updates related to the industry.

Please stop by the Skoda Minotti booth #22 this year at the Blockland Solutions 2019 Conference and tell us what you find most exciting in this space!

Do you have questions about Blockland, or other issues related to Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain? Please contact Denny Murphy, CPA, CCA at dmurphy@skodaminotti.com, and Nick Ward, CBP at nward@skodaminotti.com, or 440-449-6800.