For a couple of years it has been more and more frequent for tax advisers to consult us about cryptocurrencies and how they affect the income of new investors. The type questions are multiplying: “How much does the Treasury keep if I earn 3,000 euros in Bitcoins?”, “How can I do to not pay taxes on the profits? “Or” I am earning more now than with my job, what should I do? ”. In the financial field, and even starting from a conservative profile, we attend to the complexity that the new financial markets entail, where we have to coexist with terminology as diverse as forex, securities, derivatives, futures, options, …, which for a few years, terms such as cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology have been added. Do they facilitate or prevent us from taking the great leap?
Fortunately, far from the role of “trader” or “wolf of Wall Street” that some demand, from tax advice we attend to the most practical aspects. For this reason, we focus on our work to inform how they should pay such precious income and profits, which have been obtained with such ease, so as not to have problems with the treasury and incidentally, we remember what it means to pay taxes and its relationship with maintenance of our esteemed “Welfare State”.
Beyond the technical advice that any profit generated by the sale of this type of assets is taxed in personal income tax – around 19-24% -, and that if the volume of annual operations exceeds a certain amount you must present a specific tax model, the The debate that we intend to raise today is whether this new type of market, activity or speculation could be compatible with the so-called “Social and Solidarity Economy”.
More clearly: there are certain legal forms that are imperatively non-profit, such as associations. In other cases, such as cooperatives, the profit motive is optional and it will be the assembly who approves it or not, speaking in one direction or the other. However, it is a very common mistake to think that every non-profit organization carries out a social activity. The profit motive refers to the distribution of profits or surpluses generated by the entity, so a non-profit entity will never be able to distribute the annual benefits among the members that integrate it as if a dividend distribution were treated. Said benefit cannot be distributed, its purpose must be the investment to achieve the corporate purpose of the entity.
Fortunately, from the perspective of the member and worker of a cooperative with a marked social character, we have known and helped create companies that carry out activities that can be considered to belong to the “axis of evil” from a social and solidarity point of view (construction, real estate, financial services, energy services, insurance, wholesale intermediaries …). However, they have shown that the resources that the system makes available to us at the service of society can (and should) be used. I am talking, for example, about Coop57, Fiare Banca Ética, Som Energía, Espanica, Arq Seguros, ethical and solidarity consultancies and consultancies. In fact, medical cooperatives are currently being formed to position themselves as an alternative and sustainable service compared to private health, with a very ethical and social approach and totally complementary to public health.
Would we be saying, then, that there is the possibility of using the tools of evil capitalism for the achievement of social ends?
One of the main successes of the speculative world of cryptocurrencies is the ease of operating in it in a simple, direct and fast way. You get informed a bit, you install an application and operate like a real broker. With the advantage of interacting with a single “intermediary” that you have previously installed on your mobile phone, without the need for your trusted entity to centralize the process. No more having to talk to your La Caixa or BBVA salesperson.
You start with the illusion of investing just one hundred euros in a cryptocurrency and getting a month’s salary in a few days. In return, you just have to haggle with the application and, who knows, if you do it well and have a bit of luck, the profits will add zeroes. After all, the cryptocurrency market is not under the control of any State, Bank or Financial Institution, one of its main attractions for new investors.
Socially, we have never been especially attracted to the financial world, with its stocks, futures, investment plans … and neither is the cryptocurrency market passionate, because after that apparent independence, like traditional financial markets, and although some expert rebuts it, it is out of our control, since – make no mistake – small investors will always depend on large fortunes and their speculations to earn or lose the money they leave us.
But regardless of this, it is true that with a head, luck or both, money is being made and inquiries from people with some experience in the statistics or mathematics sector have already begun with the intention of creating investment groups in cryptocurrencies. , so that what is generated is not distributed among investors, but rather is invested in improvements for the neighborhood, or food for disadvantaged people, playgrounds, etc. That is, non-profit associations, where its members contribute or donate an amount of money to achieve a social and solidarity purpose, but making use of a speculative tool, such as blockchain technology.
Faced with this reality, it is worth wondering if it is possible that the cryptocurrency market may or may not contribute to the achievement of one of the pillars of the Social and Solidarity Economy, the orientation to human needs, which is nothing more than putting the economy to the people’s service.
We wonder then if there is the possibility that by putting the tools of the capitalist system at the service of the objectives of the Social and Solidarity Economy, the initial and fundamental objective of any economy can be achieved, which is none other than managing limited resources to achieve the satisfaction of the needs of human beings.
Perhaps it is an extreme simplification of the matter. However, if we are able to approach this world of cryptocurrencies from another perspective, we can come to think that a goal is being scored for the system, just as experiences such as Coop57 or Som Energia did in their day. And, who knows, perhaps instead of “wolves of Wall Street” are being born “Wolves of the 3,000” … although yes, we will have to give the name a little spin ….