In 2021, the global cryptocurrency market exceeded $1.7 billion— a market that was a mere fantasy in the early 2000s. Bitcoin, the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency, was valued at $0.09 per bitcoin in 2010. Fast forward to its peak in November 2021 where a single bitcoin was selling for over $68,000. To put this into perspective, if you bought 1,000 bitcoins in 2010 and sold them at their peak in 2021, you would have profited approximately $68 million.
The ability to make such a profit poses an interesting question: are cryptocurrency profits subject to taxation? In short, yes. The goal of this article is to explain why taxpayers owe taxes on their cryptocurrency profits and outline the recent attempts by both the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Congress to crack down on tax evasion in the ever-evolving cryptocurrency market.