I would like to seek for your help since I would like to have confident answers on the following questions: (please include links for official websites)

  • Is it legal to buy & hold currencies (such as ripple, bitcoin,etc..) as a kind of investment in the USA?

  • When do you have to tax after it?

  • Do you have to report is on your tax form even before you sell it or only after you sold the currencies?

So far this is what I found: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-21.pdf

  • 1/ Yes, it is legal. Both Coinbase and Bittrex as US based exchanges working under federal requirements. 2/ Yes, it is seen as taxable by the IRS since it is viewed as an asset like a stock rather than a currency which can be spent. 3/ Treat trading crypto-currency like trading stocks, once you realize a gain after selling then you are liable for capital gains tax.turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/tax-payments/…
    – user65146
    Nov 22, 2017 at 7:35
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this topic is asking for legal advice. Please consult a lawyer. Nov 22, 2017 at 15:20
  • Please advise which stackchange can I post this question. I do believe that lawyers are not at the top of crypto currency questions at the moment. This is why we have supporting communities such as this forum. Thank you
    – narancs
    Nov 22, 2017 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Yes. It is legal to buy cryptocurrencies in the USA and they are taxed like property by the IRS.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_bitcoin_by_country_or_territory#North_America

From the WIKI:

The U.S. Treasury classified bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency in 2013.[26] The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, classified bitcoin as a commodity in September 2015. Per IRS, bitcoin is taxed as a property.[27]

In September 2016, a federal judge ruled that "Bitcoins are funds within the plain meaning of that term".[28]

[26] "Statement of Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director Financial Crimes Enforcement Network United States Department of the Treasury Before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee on Economic Policy". fincen.gov. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2014.

[27] "IRS Virtual Currency Guidance : Virtual Currency Is Treated as Property for U.S. Federal Tax Purposes; General Rules for Property Transactions Apply". www.irs.gov. Retrieved 2017-04-22.

[28] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-jpmorgan-cyber-bitcoin-idUSKCN11P2DE

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