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So I've had a few requests to start a discourse on crypto as it pertains to the RC community. I'm obviously happy to do so, but will try to keep it to a single thread via this initial post for now. Feel free, however, to use the newly created crypto tag (ht to @hrishikesh) for your own purposes should you need it!

So this was mainly prepared as excerpts from our company blog in order to give you an idea of why crypto is well-suited for digital natives, remote workers, and the Internet-first crowd to start adopting sooner rather than later:

Bitcoin, the first and still largest major cryptocurrency, is basically digital money tracked on a public blockchain (think database) so that any two people can send each other funds without the need of external parties or institutions, such as payment processors or banks, just an internet connection.

The most significant distinction between general fintech and crypto-based fintech is that general fintech are largely services built/stacked on top of legacy systems still managed by banks and financial institutions; so no matter how slick UI gets, whether by person, phone, or app, the services are still from the 20th century on the back end. Crypto and crypto networks, on the otherhand, offer environments where users gain more control and ownership over their digital assets because they're built on open-sourced code - borderless, faster, cheaper, transparent, etc.

Why is this relevant for RC? For globally distributed team and community setups, cross-border transactions regularly occur and those transfers and all related fees can quickly add up for both companies and workers. But cryptocurrencies can enable businesses and people to reposition their relationships with finance and financial services: International wire transfers in a matter of clicks with no third parties; forex at a fraction of the costs imposed by banks; instant processing, payouts via markets that are open 24/7.

Certainly, the crypto revolution won’t occur overnight β€” after all, the PC and Internet revolutions took decades before even resembling the mainstay forms they now occupy in our daily lives. There’s a growing movement, however, towards establishing more open financial systems that go beyond simply being digital market speculation. But there are still many benefits in crypto today for remote companies and workers to take advantage of, especially in these early days.

Have any comments and or questions? Feel free to post here or DM me directly!

And do feel free to browse the blog posts I used to prepare the above:

- Crypto perks in the future of work

- Start thinking about Bitcoin at your company sooner rather than later

- So you own some Bitcoin… now what?


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    Hey Justin,

    Thanks for this. I am not an expert, so sorry if this is not a very nuanced question. But, if I understand correctly, cryptocurrencies are still facing a lot of regulatory roadblock in some countries, aren't they? So, are transaction restricted to only certain countries? Is there a list you have which includes the countries that allow crypto?

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      I should preface that this shouldn't be taken as investment advice. Having said that, I welcome any questions in this thread, feel free to bombard me 😎

      Firstly, just to establish a basic point: P2P transactions strictly in crypto can't be restricted - if you have a wallet and another party has a wallet, nothing can technically stop your transaction.

      Now, if you plan on reporting for compliance and regulation (which can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction), particularly from a business standpoint, there are obligations to keep your transactions in good standing (keep in mind, you probably already do these things if you own a business/are a freelancer). You'd be surprised how many countries are being progressive in their stances towards crypto (as long as you're not holding millionsπŸ˜…). So here are some basic best practices for the US (which is actually similar for most other countries):

      1. Crypto like Bitcoin and Ether have values that fluctuate

      2. Crypto like Dai, which keep the same value (~$1), can be treated like normal money

      3. Using normal money to buy crypto; no problem, tax-free. So long as you keep your crypto as crypto and you remain the owner, all good

      4. Selling crypto for normal money; profit is taxed as capital gains (like with stocks), losses can actually be considered as deductibles

      5. Using crypto like Bitcoin or Ether to buy something; any change in value at the time of your purchase for that amount will be taxed as capital gains

      6. Using crypto like Dai to buy something; should be taxed like normal monies

      7. Interest earned on crypto; yes, you can earn interest (ex. we offer interest on Dai) and so you should declare any as income/additional ordinary income

      8. Getting paid in crypto; treat as normal income upon time of receipt

      9. Gifting crypto (like to friends or family); no problem, tax free

      10. Donating crypto; Can be claimed as a tax deduction but only if to a registered charity

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        Thanks Justin. This is really helpful 😊

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          Always happy to chat crypto πŸš€

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      Thanks Justin. This is really useful for Flexiple. We are currently accepting payments from our clients from across the world, so it is becoming quite painful to figure out the logistics. More than that, the cost of transactions is ridiculously high (3%) and is eroding our commissions severely.

      Here are a few questions 😬:

      1. Do you think taking money in Bitcoin is an option? Would it be considered unprofessional?

      2. How does the financial accounting work in this case? Is there an impact in that? Because typically, we have bank transactions to prove all of our accounting entries.

      3. Just saw that Sarah already asked it, but I remember India blocking crypto transactions. Is that a problem even now?

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        We feel your pain re: working globally & fees πŸ˜”

        Per your questions:

        1. Do you think taking money in Bitcoin is an option? Would it be considered unprofessional?

        I personally don't see accepting Bitcoin as unprofessional 😜 and we're seeing more businesses start to incorporate crypto in some way or form (even publicly listed companies are using bitcoin for their treasuries). Having said that I think it mostly depends on your prospective customers, what their reactions may be. If you do decide to try, I'd recommend to start with Coinbase Commerce (fast and easy).

        2. How does the financial accounting work in this case? Is there an impact in that? Because typically, we have bank transactions to prove all of our accounting entries.

        As I mentioned to Sarah, in general, most accounting and reporting is handled like you'd normally do for all other transactions you deal with. The one caveat is crypto that fluctuates in value (like bitcoin, ether) will need to be addressed. But, for example, on Quidli we enable you extract your complete ledger like with your bank transactions, all your crypto transactions and relevant details, so that you can simply provide to your accountant to then treat accordingly.

        3. Just saw that Sarah already asked it, but I remember India blocking crypto transactions. Is that a problem even now?

        While I'm not an India specialist πŸ˜…, we're pretty chummy with an India-based crypto company (we share an investor) and the way they explain it is that the negative sentiment is towards trading/exchanges, particularly of the high-frequency variety. Obviously it depends on your comfort level, but if you're not moving millions in crypto, most governments don't care about you so long as you're actively accounting and reporting.

        This is why we see Quidli as a great way for companies and people to dip their feet in the crypto waters, without necessarily having to take a giant plunge with no idea what to do.

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          Thanks for the detailed answer Justin :).Β  I will now be able to have some structured conversation internally about maybe giving crypto a go.

          Also, Coinbase Commerce is an interesting suggestion. So <in your favourite format of interaction 😝>

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        This is a great initiative! I would also recommend looking into DeFi - for starters, the largest DeFi protocol just minted their UNI tokens (kinda like the DeFi version of an IPO) and gave out $2000 (at current price) worth of UNI tokens to all its users (refer full story here). It's super interesting how DeFi is democratizing wealth and it's definitely a very exciting field to keep an eye out for πŸ˜‰

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          This is really interesting, Steven. I also found that its token value had doubled within just 2 days of listing. Quite curious what do governance tokens mean πŸ€”? Keen to hear from @justin-465 as well!

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            Ha, you're really jumping into the crypto rabbit hole now πŸ‡

            Governance tokens, still largely a work in progress, are essentially a digital system for participating in the management of an organization (ex. like a company). It meshes well with crypto/blockchain because the ownership is almost tamper-proof and so you can use the token(s) to prove your a member of a group and to then participate in making decisions for the group via methods like voting.

            As people and structures embrace more decentralization, many believe we can use governance tokens to build more community-focused institutions - clubs, interest groups, companies, governments, etc. But the tech is still really early and it's admittedly difficult to set standards for consensus and convincing people to act outside their self-interests. Still, the experimentation going on in this space right now is pretty cool.

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          Disclaimer: I work at a crypto company focusing building for products for remote teams and communities πŸ˜…