As the Trump administration is seemingly getting ready to issue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, prominent cryptocurrency commentator and head analyst at Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee, said that this is a signal that the White House can issue an executive order banning anything, including Bitcoin.
Nothing’s Out of Reach
The United States is apparently preparing to issue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes upon worries of a worsening epidemic of teenage vaping, Bloomberg reported yesterday, September 11th.
While the move is seemingly unrelated to cryptocurrency, prominent Bitcoin bull and head analyst at Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee, said that this demonstrates that a president can issue an executive order banning pretty much anything, including Bitcoin.
This is un-related but shows White House can issue an ‘executive order’ banning anything. And could even ban bitcoin. Not expecting it. But with current White House, there is “nothing out of bounds nor out of reach”@CNBC @angelicalavito#vaping #bitcoinhttp://t.co/gMZur1M4Cm
— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) September 11, 2019
What’s alarming is that we already know that President Trump’s position on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general is not particularly peachy.
Back in July, Trump said that he’s “not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies”, adding that they are volatile and “based on thin air”. He also claimed that they facilitate illicit activity including drugs.
Bitcoin’s Regulatory Status in the US
Bitcoin’s regulatory status in the US is perhaps one of the most highly discussed topics within the crypto community.
Back in 2018, an SEC official said that Bitcoin and Ethereum were not securities. The official said that Bitcoin was not a security because it is decentralized and there is no central party whose efforts are a determining factor in the enterprise. The same goes for Ethereum, according to the official.
On the other hand, back in March 2018, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a reminder to taxpayers that income from virtual currency was reportable on their income tax returns.
The document noted that virtual currencies, as they are generally defined, are a digital representation of value “that functions in the same manner as a country’s traditional currency.”
In other words, as far as the IRS is concerned, Bitcoin is a form of currency when it comes to taxation.
The document also stated that “general tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.”
To sum it all up, when it comes to taxation, Bitcoin can be viewed as a currency, as property, and as pretty much anything else that can be taxed.
It’s unclear how a potential ban would be formulated, given Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, especially without any prior definitions and regulatory clarifications. Yet, on paper, Lee is right that nothing’s “out of reach” when it comes to the White House and its executive orders.