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“Crypto Investors Need Better Tax and Accounting Tools”, says CEO of ZenLedger

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Crypto investor

ZenLedger.io is a Seattle-based startup that helps individuals and CPAs with their taxes with cryptocurrency investments. They are VC-backed and have a team of 10.

Cryptotapas sat with Pat Larsen, CEO of ZenLedger to discuss what makes ZenLedger different from other crypto tax software in the market, and Larsen’s thoughts on the evolution of the crypto investment space and the future of blockchain technology.

CT: What made you start ZenLedger when there are other Cryptocurrency tax solutions in the market?

Pat: “Before getting into tech, I was an investment banker, so I’m pretty familiar with finance and accounting. I ran a business unit at Amazon followed by an eCommerce startup.  I was coming off of the eCommerce startup and wanted to get back on the forefront of technology. When cryptocurrency hit the mainstream in 2017, I kept talking to smart people in the space and brainstormed about solutions to some structural issues in the space and landed on the tax idea.

We felt that other platforms could use some improvements. When we talked to existing users of these platforms. our suspicions were confirmed. We gathered the feedback and put that into building a better product that is easy to use and provides accurate tax forms. Getting an investor or CPA accurate accounting in crypto across multiple exchanges and wallets is not an easy task, but it is a valuable problem to solve.”

CT: What is the biggest differentiator of ZenLedger compared to other crypto tax software out there?

Pat: “Transparency and customer friendliness, which manifests in a couple of things.  One is our Unified Accounting Spreadsheet that shows all transactions in one place along with our backend calculations that will be immensely helpful in case of an audit, or for tax professionals that want to show detail to their customers.

Our customer service is incredible. People have been quite surprised when we respond to their questions during the night or on weekends. It just shows how serious we are about this business, which is often lacking in the crypto space. ZenLedger will give you a summary for free after you upload your transactions, and then you can pick the appropriate plan for the complexity of your return. We’ll also be releasing a tool to help with tax loss harvesting. It’s been a tough year for everyone.”

CT: We have to be honest here. We did not think you would respond to our questions and request over the weekend, but you did. That is just a testament to what you said about customer service, and we certainly appreciate that you are bringing true business candor to the Crypto space. Now onto the next question.

CT: What is your vision for ZenLedger?

Pat: “I think there are going to be opportunities that present themselves, perhaps in security tokens if they get traction. Whatever form Security and Utility tokens take going forward, ZenLedger can continue to be more of a picks-and-shovels type of financial layer of services in the Blockchain space.

If people start earning income in multiple Cryptocurrencies from multiple sources or charge fees for their services in Crypto, that starts looking a lot like ADP or SAP does with daily, weekly or monthly accounting along with annual tax assistance. Since data is already structured in ZenLedger, we will see more utilities for services like ZenLedger and more opportunities will present themselves as this ecosystem evolves into a daily use case.


We also want to keep improving our core technology. From an accuracy standpoint, we are always fine-tuning our algorithms to track transactions, and filling in lots of holes that are created when cryptos are moved between wallets and exchanges.

CT: How big of a team do you have at ZenLedger?

Pat:  “We have 10 people; 6 developers and rest are on the business support side.”

CT: How many exchanges do you support right now and how many are you going to bring onboard for 2018 tax year?

Pat: “We continuously add exchanges to the platform. We also provide extensive Wallet support. We cover all the major exchanges and wallets and many of the smaller ones. Coinbase, GDAX/CoinbasePRO, Binance, Bittrex, Kucoin, Kraken, Poloniex, Jaxx, Trezor, Ledger…etc.

CT: How many countries do you currently support?

Pat: “Our primary focus is the United States to help individuals with tax forms, however, individuals from other locations can benefit from our reports as well.  We will keep looking to support other countries as regulations become more clearer.”

CT: Isn’t ZenLedger the only Crypto tax software that supports FBAR Filing, FinCEN Form 114?

Pat: “That is true.  What we do is pull the peak value from the exchanges, irrespective of how many assets you own, so that you can include that information on FinCEN Form 114.  We currently do not support direct import of data to FinCEN since there is a lot of personally identifiable information that goes on the form. We provide values for FBAR and FATCA purposes.”

CT: People either do not know about FinCEN filing requirement or they forget, but we believe it is an important disclosure with serious repercussions for non-compliance.

Pat: “FBAR reporting is quite important and has serious consequences for non-disclosure. If you have more than $10,000 of peak assets in a foreign exchange like Binance or Huobi in a calendar year, you have to fill out a FinCen 114 FBAR filing.”

CT: Do you only support retail customers or are you also supporting CPAs?

Pat: “We support retail investors and provide CPAs with workflow management to help provide services to their customers.  CPAs do not have to pay licensing fees. They can create free accounts to start serving their clients. That way, each taxpayer’s transactions can be handled separately and costs can be passed on to taxpayers or bundled into the CPA’s bill.”

CT: ZenLedger allows users to upload their transaction detail and view the tax summary information for free. They can wait to pay for the services when they decide to download the tax forms. Is this going to be available for 2018?

Pat:  “Yes, we plan to keep that form of feature available for our customers for the 2018 calendar year.”

CT: Where do you think the blockchain and crypto space is headed next?

Pat: “As more talented individuals spend more resources and time in this space, we will see applications that bring blockchain use cases to life. Obviously, we will see innovations in the supply chain management, joint ownership of assets to share revenue, etc.

Interesting models where individuals get paid for their time and attention will also emerge as a first case model for blockchain use cases. Transferring value across borders, eating into the money transfer business, can also be a great use-case, and an area where we will see solutions in blockchain space coming out sooner than others.”

CT: Is there anything you want our readers to know that we have not asked you about?

Pat: “We take customer service very seriously, and that translates into a product that is easy to use and handles transactions accurately. We continuously talk to CPAs to ensure that we are updating our software to mirror the regulations so that our customers can be sure of the quality we provide them.”

CT: Thank you, Pat, for taking the time to chat with us today. We appreciate it. 

Thank you for reading this article.

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

CryptoTapas does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made in respective publications referenced in this database.

About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

RK Reddy is an ardent fan of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. You can see the excitement about this new technology in every article on Cryptotapas.com. Sometimes this excitement leads to an overly optimistic view. Guilty as charged. RK Reddy says what may seem like an ‘overly optimistic expectation’ today may become an everyday norm in 5-10 years; look at the history of cars or airplanes, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies belong to a similar frame of reference.”  Of course, that is just his opinion.


CryptoSpace

6 Massive Benefits of Cryptocurrency

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Benefits of Cryptocurrency

It is normal to be hesitant about using cryptocurrency as the medium of financial transactions. 

There is a school of thought which believes, it is a domain suitable for criminals, fraudsters, and terrorists. Cryptocurrencies allow them to maintain anonymity for discreet transactions and ransomware scams.

However, the increasing acceptance of Bitcoin as a digital currency has initiated a positive perspective around this mode. It brings a distinct set of pros for the users, making them overlook the risks tag along.

According to the Finder, a post on social media surfaces about Bitcoin every three seconds. If we do the math, it means 1203 posts pop up per hour, making it to 20 posts per minute.

A more general view on the crypto landscape speaks of its overall growth, too. Block Social tells us how cryptocurrency exchanges around the globe have exceeded 300 during 2020.

In fact, the success of crypto shows us the loopholes of the traditional banking system. If you, too, want to leap on this bandwagon and aren’t sure about your next move, this is the right place. Our blog sheds light on the positive aspects of cryptocurrency that make it a more established form of financial trade. 

Healthereum

1. Easy transactions

When dealing with brokers or legal representatives, you have to pay the transaction fee from time to time. This comes along with immense paperwork, commission, brokerage charges, and so much more. Using cryptocurrency eliminates the need for a middle man. The transaction changes into a one-to-one affair taking place on a secure network.

No wonder Forbes stated that adopting blockchain technology can save financial organizations around $12 billion yearly. A deduction of extra charges from third parties and reduced operations cost is saving millions for huge organizations.

Moreover, the transactions are transparent, making it easier for you to establish audit trials. There is no more confusion over who pays whom. All parties involved in the transaction know each other quite well. Accountability on each party grows.

2. Asset transfers

A financial analyst rightfully describes cryptocurrency blockchain to be a “large property rights database.” On the one hand, it helps execute and enforce two-party contracts on commodities such as real estate and automobiles. At the same time, it also facilitates special modes of transfer. 

As per Born2Invest, Bitcoin alone is responsible for an average of 350 000 daily transactions on the Blockchain. Meanwhile, Coinbase has 30 million cryptocurrency users (Block Social). The increasing figures of each crypto speak of its acceptance worldwide.

The parties involved in asset transfer can design contracts and add third-party approvals at a later date. It also helps to reference the external facts and gives the parties exclusive governance of their account. It reduces the time and money involved in asset transfers. Perhaps this is why US federal government spending on Blockchain shall reach $123.5 million by 2022.

3. Confidential transactions

Cryptocurrency purchases remain discreet. Unless a user voluntarily publishes his transactions, the purchase is never associated with their identity. In official scenarios, such as when you put your cars for sale, the parties must reveal an association with their cryptocurrencies. It helps to establish trust and relevance.

Within the cash/credit system, your entire transaction history turns into a reference document for the banks/credit agencies involved. On the contrary, cryptocurrency is a transaction that is a unique exchange between two parties. They can negotiate and agree on preferable terms. The information exchange takes place on the “push” basis. This means you transmit only that which you wish to send to the recipient and nothing else.

It keeps your financial history secure and guards you against identity theft. Chances of which are quite high under the traditional transaction system. 

On top of this, the combination of Blockchain with IoT is considered revolutionary by the experts. This has accelerated data exchange, lowering the operation costs, and improved the security of files. Your Tech Diet predicted that 75% of the IoT industry would adopt Blockchain technology by the end of 2020. Lack of exposure is, thus, something the entire industry is looking for.

4. Transaction Fee

You have probably faced hefty monthly account statements from your bank/credit companies. The transaction fee charged at every transaction you have made might leave you shocked. The whopping fee of multiple transactions can take you by surprise at the end of each month.

In the case of cryptocurrency exchange, the data miners receive their share from the cryptocurrency network involved. Transaction fee does not apply as the remote and separate computer systems that do the number-crunching get a pretty fair share. 

According to Investopedia, the Bitcoin reward for miners halves for every 210 000 blocks added to the chain. Nonetheless, this system has freed the transaction parties to pay the fee, making it the most feasible. 

However, there might be some external fee involved if you engage a third-party management service to maintain the crypto wallet. These charges are likely to be quite less than the transaction charges levied by the traditional banking system. 

5. Hold Ownership

The traditional banking system works in a manner where the amount goes to the nominee if a person passes away. The chances of the account closing are quite high when you infringe the terms of their services. Unlike this framework, digital currencies give you the sole ownership of private and public encryption keys. This makes it easier for you to identify the encryption network.

6. High security

Once a party authorizes the cryptocurrency transfer, they cannot reverse it. This is not the case in “charge-back” transactions allowed by the credit companies. Cryptocurrency gives you reliable encryption throughout the transaction process to keep it protected from bugs and malicious entities.

Systems like Binance Smart Chain are enabling people to do more with BTC.

Final Thoughts 

Cryptocurrency is taking the financial world by storm, and we know the reasons why. It is about time you kickstart your digital finances journey and make the most out of it. Who knows what surprises are about to come later in this landscape!

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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CryptoSpace

Cardano or PolkaDot? Which One to Invest In?

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Cardano vs Polkadot

There is a new battle in the crypto space.  Cardano (ADA) and PolkaDot (DOT) maximalists are headbutting as to which project is better and why.

The conversations are intense to say the least and we will try to provide our view on which one we are leaning toward and the reasons why, in this rather short article.

Just to be clear, we are invested in both ADA and DOT so we have a vested interest in both projects, however, we are now asked to pick one over the other and that brings us to this article.

Decentralization

The whole spirit of cryptocurrencies is the concept of decentralization, however, some of the more popular projects don’t seem to have a grasp of what that means.

Diem (previously Libra) or XRP etc., are controlled by a group for validators who could, in theory, easily collude, in our view.

With DOT, things are not as centralized as some other projects with about 1000 validators securing the platform.

However, ADA has the most number of nodes and has most of its circulating supply staked on its wallet. The community behind ADA has biggest proponents of decentralized frameworks.

ADA: 8 (top 10 is reserved for BTC)

DOT: 6

Team

Cardano boasts the maximum number of Ph.Ds on its team and has a more decentralized team structure.  You have teams that are working exclusively on wallet and staking while you have other teams focusing on interoperability. Yet, another team is focused on bridging projects from Ethereum to Cardano.

DOT has the ammunition of Gavin behind it. He is undoubtedly one of the brilliant minds in the space. 

However, as we learned in basic math, sum total is always greater than an individual unit.  This applies more aptly with these projects. In our opinion, Cardano has a greater edge when it comes to collective human capital.

Having Charles Hoskinson helps ADAs impression.

ADA: 8

DOT: 6

Social presence

There is no competition when it comes to social presence and engaging the community when it comes to the leaders of these two projects.

While DOT’s founder Gavin might come out as eccentric and polished in the social media, Charles takes the cake in engaging with his audience and making things sensible for the community.

ADA: 9 

DOT: 7

On a mission

Whenever you hear Charles speak about ADA you will immediately understand that he is on a mission to bring the marvels of blockchain enabled financial services to all corners of the world.

Cardano’s team is now focused on the South Africa continent to bring the under-previleged onto the world commerce through their platform. They are even close to signing a contract with Ethiopia government in 2021.

While DOT is catapulting the entire space forward it just lacks the same charm that comes with a project on a grandiose mission.

ADA: 8

DOT: 6 

Miscellaneous considerations 

Market cap: ADA has $20 Billion market cap while DOT has $19 Billion, as such they are on par with each other when it comes to valuation. The large cap is a stamp of approval from the crypto community.

Price: ADA is at around 60 cents while DOT has been stabilising at $20 at the time of this writing. When the newbies come to the market and they see they cannot afford Bitcoin or Ethereum, they will most likely go after the projects that are under $1. This does not mean DOT is inferior, it is just an edge that low priced tokens have over higher priced projects. It’s just a newbie mindset that drives higher demand during bull runs to lower priced projects.

Inflationary supply

DOT has an inflationary supply model while ADAs supply is capped.

Yes, DOTs supply is far larger than DOT, however, there is no new minting on ADA when compared to DOT.

Mainnet

DOTs technology is operational and is onboarding projects already.  ADA is scheduled to launch its mainnet this month (Feb 2021). ADA has been in works for many years now and if their product matches the hype and the wait – then it may not matter as much that they are late to the party. However, if there are issues with their mainnet – it may not bode well for ADA.

Conclusion: Total score

ADA: 33

DOT: 25

If you are a DOT fan you might think this score is skewed.   If you are an ADA fan you might think it should score perfect points in all fronts.

In fact, there are some areas where DOT is a clear winner like having a functioning platform. ADA, in our opinion, takes the prize with clear fandom, gigantic mission and a total brainiac project. 

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Best of the Best YouTube Channels to Follow for your Crypto Fix

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Best Crypto Youtubers

There are literally 100s of crypto-experts on YouTube who claim to have cracked the secret code that can make you millions in crypto riches. 

Who should you follow?  

We have followed many YouTubers, subscribing and unsubscribing to avoid the noise and after having been in this space for over 4 years, we have narrowed our favorite crypto YouTube channels to just a few.

In this article, we will show you our favorite YouTubers and what we like about each one of them. 

Overall number 1: Coin Bureau

coin bureau When it comes to deep analysis, composed demeanor and outright professional crypto channel in the entire space, we have not come across anyone better than Guy.  

Not only is he great at the reviews and in depth analysis, if you have followed the channel long enough you will realize that he reviews the gems long before others pick on the momentum.  

He picks solid projects, never shills a shitty project to his followers and is upfront about his views which he backs up with solid research.

This is the best no-shill and no bull crypto channel on YouTube in our view.

Best original content: Chico Crypto

chico crypto review

If you love a bit of quirky, goofy and somewhat out there viewpoints on the crypto space then there is no one better than Tyler at Chico Crypto. 

His investigation stretches the boundaries of research (and sometimes common sense) but he does do a bang up job on every video.  

I am yet to come across a boring video on this channel.  I will admit that his live streams can be a drag sometimes but his followers seem to relish his presence.

You may not like or agree with what Tyler presents on this channel but you will absolutely be floored by the originality.   

Best TA: TIED: Crypto Capital Venture & Tyler S

                         Crypto Capital Venture Tyler S crypto

With under 90K subscribers at the time of this writing, Dan may not be the most popular of the Crypto channels [yet] but his TA analysis is just so easy to follow.

Dan makes it easy for non-technical folks to understand what’s going on in the market in the language of TA.

There are other folks on YouTube who are good at TA but their videos are so obnoxious that they leave you with a massive headache.  

Not Dan’s Crypto Capital Venture channel.   Dan walks you through the markets in such a calm, composed and professional manner that you might start caring about those candles.

We are forced to share the Best Title for crypto TA on YouTube with Tyler S. 

Tyler’s expertise on TAs is quite awesome and he has a funny way of delivering it too.  

Best expertise on the markets: Alessio Rastani

Allesio RastaniIt doesn’t matter if you are just lurking around the crypto markets or if you trade in the traditional markets…Alessio is one of the best guys on YouTube for great insights into the broad market and its impact on Crypto.

While everyone on YouTube (not the people on this list, of course) is either quick to FOMO or FUD, Alessio is just grounded in fundamentals and technicals.

When you are high on FOMO, he can bring you to the ground.

When you are getting buried in FUD, he can lift you up with facts, not false hopium.

Alessio is personable, professional and an honest guy to follow to understand the markets ahead of others.

Best round up of the market: AltCoin Daily

Altcoin DailyWant to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the crypto space but don’t have time to keep up?  

Fear not. AltCoin Daily got you covered.

This channel is just a gem among the channels that bring crypto market updates in a concise and palatable format.

You can sense the dedication in the way Austin brings the updates and his opinions in front of his audience. No wonder the channel has recently hit over 420K subscribers.

Best humble and honest take: Crazy 4 Cryptos

Crazy 4 crypto

What does Crypto mean to you?

Most people will say ‘Freedom’, yet, most of the YouTubers we see on the Tube will be broadcasting from their bedrooms or backyards (nothing wrong with that) but not Dave.

He has been in Thailand and streams his videos directly from the beach.

You will immediately connect with his simpleton style and honest reviews.  

He has been touting about Theta when it was trading in cents and now those who followed him are very happy.

Besides Theta, Dave talks about a lot of topics in terms of storing your coins, being careful with people and how to have a long-term plan in space.

Honorable mentions

Team Underground (TA)

We had too many channels to weed out for the TA category and that is why we had to pick two winners, however, Team Underground is a channel we cannot skip.

This underdog channel has been more right about the calls than any other mainstream channel. If you like your TAs and technical side of crypto – be sure to check this channel out.

BitBoy

People either love him or hate him.  There is no middle ground when it comes to BitBoy.  

Personally, we have to weed out a lot of noise while browsing through his channel since he picks a new project every few days (or weeks) and can become overwhelming. 

However, the fresh content is worth the watch.

EllioTraders

The guy behind this channel is truly vested in the space. So much so that he recently launched his own crypto project.

It’s definitely refreshing to see the YouTuber taking his expertise into a live project.  

The reason we did not list this channel on the BEST list is because of the constant feed of projects he pitches that is a bit overbearing for our taste.  

Nevertheless, a great channel and great recommendations.

Conclusion

There are 100s of YouTube channels out there but not everyone is worth your attention. We hope you found some channels of interest through this article.

Note: if we missed any gem of a channel, please let us know and we will be more than happy to add it after review.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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