Metrodeal Now Accepts Bitcoin -- beware of the taxman!

Online coupon selling company Metrodeal is now accepting Bitcoin for payments. They, or any other establishment that decides to accept Bitcoin payments, deserve to be congratulated for being part of this budding innovative technology.


The BSP (central bank) already has Bitcoin on its radar and as popularity increases, I won't be surprised if the taxmen of BIR come barging in. I understand that we have been raised and conditioned to believe that taxation is patriotic and nationalistic. Most of us, without any backing of economic or political theory, will assume that anything profitable should be taxable and that the government should be watching over all voluntary exchanges. 

I was interviewed by a TV5 journalist recently regarding Bitcoin government taxation and regulation was briefly tackled
Instead of just looking at our own sentimental beliefs and folklore economics, why not look at other prosperous nations? One of our neighboring countries, Singapore, only has GST or the Goods and Services Tax which serves only as a consumption tax (much like our VAT here) and just a few years ago they removed this GST on gold. Why? Because if you place taxes like capital gains or income tax on something that is being used as a medium of exchange or as a way to invest and save then it defeats the purpose entirely. We should look at Bitcoin in the same light.

Also, what if a website is hosted in another country? Will the government have jurisdiction over that website? In the digital world, government territory and sovereignty is blurred. The age-old rules we adhere to may not necessarily apply anymore.

The Philippines is the 3rd largest country that relies on remittances next to India and China and is a 26-billion dollar industry. Another journalist found me on Twitter (same place the journalist above found me) and I refferred him to the folks over at BuyBitcoin.ph and he made this report regarding Bitcoin and remittances:

   

The ease of use of Bitcoin will be very beneficial for Filipinos and for our economy. It's important to take note that fears of money-laundering and scams are valid points but these atrocities will remain to exist regardless of the existence of Bitcoin. The burden shouldn't be on this budding technology that promises to deliver so many innovations that our people will benefit from.

Journalists contacting me on Twitter regarding Bitcoin
This blog seems to be ranking well on certain keyword queries regarding Bitcoin because I've been contacted several times already regarding my blog posts and they usually say they found an article just by looking it up online (check out my other blog that usually discusses search engine rankings: Beating the Search Engine).

It's obviously a good way to promote the political philosophies I have learned to love. In our digital-centric world nowadays, blogging and using social media is a good way to be heard. The fact that mainstream media comes to me through my blog and by looking at the stats of my page views and the money I make through the ads -- these are indicators that people are listening.

You see,  regulation also does not necessarily guarantee consumer safety or the abolition of fraud and may even lead to unintended economic consequences. In the same manner, taxation is not necessarily a nationalistic or patriotic act but an arbitrary policy that we should re-examine. The tax code is so complex that loopholes only benefit the elite and weakens the working class' ability to save. Maybe we should look into the benefits of a single consumption tax like in Singapore or having a minimal flat tax. The system isn't working and all I'm saying is that we research and learn more about valid alternatives that have already been tested by other nations. 

As Bitcoin becomes more and more popular (even Conan has a bit on it already), it will be a big threat to government monopoly and they will fight back. I'll be here constantly reminding everyone why we shouldn't let them.


If you liked this post then you might also like:
1. Why Do We Tax Ramen?
2. On Wage Labor and the Invisible Tax
3. What's the Deal with Bitcoin?

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