Presentation – Bitcoin: Opportunities In The Current Regulatory Climate

Presented on 27 October 2014 (Melbourne Bitcoin Professional Meetup – PwC, Melbourne)


Bitcoin Beginners

For those new to the space, Draper University recently released a great course on Bitcoin basics – https://www.udemy.com/the-bitcoi…­

For those looking for a bit more depth and technical detail, check out the recently released ‘Mastering Bitcoin’ book by Andreas Antonopoulos – http://shop.oreilly.com/product…­

Regulation of Bitcoin

For an overview of the ATO rulings please see my article on Startup Smart – http://www.startupsmart.com.au/…­

The ATO guidance and ruling (links to the rulings are at the bottom of the page) – https://www.ato.gov.au/general/g…­

A solid analysis of the draft bitlicense provisions by Davis Polk. Best suited to those running bitcoin start-ups or those who want to get more into the technical legal aspects of the regulations – http://www.davispolk.com/sites/…­

Audit of Exchanges

Overview of the process currently used by most exchanges for their proof of reserves audits – https://iwilcox.me.uk/2014/provi…­

As an example, see Kraken’s security audit procedure – https://www.kraken.com/security/…­

Bitcoin Tax Compliance

See Libratax for an example of this type of service – http://www.libratax.com/­

Bitcoin (protocol uses)

A few views on the future of Bitcoin as a protocol – Greg Brockman – CTO, stripe.com – https://stripe.com/blog/bitcoin-…­

Adam Ludwin – CEO, Chain.com – http://blog.chain.com/post/9917…­

Chris Dixon – Partner, A16Z – http://cdixon.org/2014/10/04/so…­

A very interesting little hack that uses bitcoin to pay for the use of a wifi network [Video] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…­


Presentation – ATO Rulings: An Overview

Presented on 3 September 2014 (Melbourne Bitcoin Meetup – York Butter Factory, Melbourne)


The piece my presentation was based on – http://alantsen.com/some-though…­

ATO General Guidance Paper – https://www.ato.gov.au/General/G…­

ATO Ruling TD 2014/D11 (bitcoin not a foreign currency for Div 775 purposes) – http://law.ato.gov.au/view.htm?…­

ATO Ruling TD 2014/D12 (bitcoin as a CGT asset) – http://law.ato.gov.au/view.htm?…­

Note: See specifically paras 5-14 for ATO’s legal analysis of the property point.

ATO Ruling TD 2014/D13 (trading stock analysis) – http://law.ato.gov.au…­

ATO Ruling TD 2014/D14 (FBT and bitcoin) – http://law.ato.gov.au…­

ATO GST Ruling GSTR 2014/D3 (GST and bitcoin) – http://law.ato.gov.au…­

Note: GSTR 2014/D3 is the ruling where the ATO lays out its view on the GST treatment of bitcoin (obviously the most contentious issue addressed by the ATO). One point that was brought up a few times on the night was the notion of ‘money’ for GST purposes, it is worth reading paras 68-73 for a short discussion of the functional and state theories of money. This goes to the common view that as the volume of BTC transactions increases the classification of BTC may also change. Worth reading for a more granular understanding of this point.

ATO’s comments on tax liabilities arising from bitcoin transactions in previous periods (see bottom of the article) – https://au.news.yahoo….­


Presentation – NY Bitlicense And Its Impact Start-ups

Presented on 6 August 2014 (Melbourne Bitcoin Meetup – York Butter Factory, Melbourne)


Core References

NYFDS Media Release – http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/pre…­

The Actual Proposed Framework – http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/pre…­

External Legal Analysis

A solid analysis of the provisions. Best suited to those running bitcoin start-ups or those who want to get into the weeds. – http://www.davispolk.com/sites/…­

This is the spreadsheet I showed – via Balaji Srinivasan from A16Z. Also, in my presentation I said 52 states – I should have said 51 states. Sorry. – https://cdn.rawgit.com/trustable…­

Reactions & Commentary

Bitlicense Provides A Reality Check For Start-ups (Comment: my comments on the potential impact) – http://alantsen.com/b…­

Early Returns on the “BitLicense” Proposal: Process (Comment: a good read – a relatively balanced view) – https://bitcoinfoundat…­

Bitcoins Affected by New York’s BitLicense May Trade at Discount (Comment: A view on the impact the bitlicense may have on price) – http://www.coindesk.c…­

New York Reveals BitLicense Framework for Bitcoin Businesses (Comment: An initial view) – http://www.coindesk.c…­

Comments and Petitions: How the BitLicense Will Affect the Future of Bitcoin (Comment: Short overview with a link to the petition) – http://bitcoinmagazin…­


Presentation – Innovators & Regulators

Presented on 4 June 2014 (Melbourne Bitcoin Meetup – York Butter Factory, Melbourne)


A great starting point for general legal research on bitcoin – http://bitlegal.net/­

General market data on bitcoin (used for my numbers slide) – http://www.coinometrics.com/bit…­

USA tax ruling (Notice 2014-21) – http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop…­

Canadian Revenue Authority fact sheet – http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/…­

Uk Tax Authority (HMRC) Revenue & Customs Brief 09/14 – http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/briefs/v…­

Coindesk article regarding ruling obtained from ATO – http://www.coindesk.com/austral…­

Bitcoin Australia tax position paper (GST & income tax discussed). This paper is especially good for Australian tax technical points – https://bitcoin.asn.au…­

GST paper from DLA Piper – http://www.dlapiper.c…­

Ethereum youtube video on creating an escrow account – https://www.youtube.co…­

Alan is the founder of CoinDoctrine Consulting and a former tax lawyer. He worked in the tax and legal practice of a big four accounting firm in Melbourne, Australia for a number of years. Alan specialised in international tax and transaction services. During his time as an advisor he worked on a number of high profile cross-border reorganisations, structured financing deals and mergers and acquisitions for publicly listed companies. Since leaving practice he has founded a number of successful companies in the education space. Alan regularly speaks at conferences and other events on Bitcoin and its regulation. He also writes and has had many of his articles republished in leading online publications. Alan’s view on Bitcoin and how it could impact business is regularly sought by start-ups and those in professional services.