Since the beginning of 2022, I have been pounding the pavement to talk with 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 up:
Owners “know” of Bitcoin because it's been in the news just about everyday for the past couple of years, but their knowledge beyond that is very limited.
Accountants are discouraging their clients from getting involved with bitcoin payments and having it on their balance sheets.
I'll break down each of the points I listed above.
First: Every business owner I spoke with knows of Bitcoin. Their understanding of it varies, from nothing to, I'd say, a general idea. Not many have ventured down the rabbit hole, but some have at least interacted with Bitcoin before. As a community, I think there is still a need for Bitcoiners to help educate people more. I don't mean the technicalities of how it works or why you need it. Rather, the application usage such as how to perform transactions, how to use it to pay for services or goods, etc. People need to visually see the flow of bitcoin, how it actually works.
For example, I use BTCPay Server as the setup to act like a point-of-sale terminal. I make a transaction and when it comes time to pay, I pull out my mobile wallet, Zeus, and pay the QR invoice. 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 eye opening to me. It actually got me to ask around in the Bitcoin community for input and experiences one might have had with an accountants. That led me to more of a general question: Are tax accountants discouraging their clients from getting involved with bitcoin? There could be several reasons for this:
The accountants themselves have no clue about Bitcoin.
Most accountants are “boomers” and anything new or (like the above point), they would just rather avoid and not deal with it.
Is the U.S. tax code hard and/or different when it comes to merchants holding bitcoin on their balance sheet versus another asset?
Or is there a huge market opportunity for new accountants that understand the tax law and bitcoin?
CALL TO ACTION
It seems that the Bitcoin community is in need of well-versed accountants who not only understand bitcoin, but are able to explain to their clients the various intricacies of taxes on bitcoin. These accountants would be valuable additions to the community if we truly seek to have businesses and individuals utilizing bitcoin.