Wall Street’s Tom Lee notes in a recent report that a need to convert crypto to fiat will rise exponentially in the lead up to tax day on April 17.
In a Thursday report Lee notes that, since US households owe an estimated $25 bln in capital gains taxes due to their crypto holdings, and crypto exchanges also will owe income taxes, both households and exchanges will be selling their crypto to pay the US government:
“We believe there is selling pressure by crypto exchanges who are subject to income tax in U.S. jurisdictions. Many exchanges have net income in 2017 [of more than] $1 bln and keep working capital in [Bitcoin]/[Ethereum], not USD — hence, to meet these tax liabilities, are selling BTC/ETH.”
According to Lee, “historical estimates are each $1 of USD outflow is $20-$25 impact on crypto market value.”
The crypto markets reported near 50 percent losses across the first quarter of 2018, marking BTCs and ETH’s worst first quarter performances in the history of the coins. However, anyone that capitalized on the crypto market spike in December 2017 that saw BTC’s price rise to $20,000 will need to pay capital gains tax on their earnings.
Lee’s Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI), created in mid-March to show how “miserable” BTC holders are based on the current price, shows that crypto holders are currently feeling the “misery:”
"Regulatory headline risk is still substantial. And sentiment remains awful, as measured by our Bitcoin misery index, which is still reading misery.”
Lee concludes that "[u]ltimately, we expect Bitcoin to find footing after April , tax day.”
Lee most recently predicted that Bitcoin will hit $91,000 by March 2020, based on BTC’s performance after past market dips. In January of this year, when BTC’s price was around $9,000, Lee told CNBC that BTC would hit $25,000 by the end of 2018, instead of by 2022 like he had previously predicted.