Frequently Asked Questions

Product

Why should I use CoinTracker?

We built CoinTracker out of our own frustration keeping track of our crypto assets. Our users love CoinTracker for many different reasons, but some of the top ones include the fact that CoinTracker:

  • Automatically & securely syncs all of your cryptocurrency balances and transactions across major exchanges & local wallets
  • Comes with great customer service (we take your feedback very seriously)
  • Is super easy to use
  • Helps you figure out your crypto taxes
  • Is under active development — so it’s rapidly getting better and better

Give CoinTracker a try!

How does syncing work?

The Coinbase integration is done through Coinbase’s OAuth2 flow (Coinbase Connect). Our Coinbase integration requests read-only access to your Coinbase data.

All other exchanges are integrated by creating API keys on the exchange accounts and providing them to CoinTracker. Whenever possible, we ask that you provide only ‘View’ permissions to these API keys.

How frequently do you update cryptocurrency prices?

We update pricing multiple times per hour and are working on further improving this.

How frequently do you synchronize my balances and transaction?

We update balances and transactions from your wallets and exchanges multiple times per day and are working on further improving this. You can always force a wallet refresh using the zippy next to the corresponding exchange on the wallets page.

Where do you get your pricing data?

We receive our pricing data from multiple sources, including CoinMarketCap and CryptoCompare.

Why is there a discrepancy between your listed price for Bitcoin and the price on my exchange?

For better or worse, there are actually quite large differences in the price of Bitcoin across exchanges, during volatile times it can be more than $1,000. Part of the reason for this is that there are different levels of liquidity and risk associated with different exchanges, leading to different amounts of demand and therefore pricing on those exchanges.

For simplicity we need to display a single value for pricing, so we try to pick a reasonable value taking into account the price across many exchanges. That said, we are also working on improving this number by personalizing the value to the exchanges that you use.

How can I track multiple Coinbase accounts on one CoinTracker account?

The Coinbase OAuth2 integration works based on the Coinbase account that you are signed into in the same browser as where you are viewing CoinTracker. In order to add additional Coinbase accounts to CoinTracker, simply go to coinbase.com in the same browser and log out. Then you’ll be able to log into whatever additional Coinbase account you want through the integration flow on CoinTracker.

Do you have native mobile apps?

Not yet. We are currently only on the web (although we do have a progressive web app for Android). However CoinTracker is mostly mobile-optimized so you can use it in your phone’s browser. We plan to launch iOS and Android native apps in the near future.

Can you add XYZ coin?

We currently support over 2,000 different crypto coins and tokens and we are adding more every day! That said, we don’t have data for every single coin. We generally automatically pick up coins as soon as they are listed on a major exchange. If you see a coin missing a price that is listed on a major exchange, please let us know at feedback@cointracker.io.

Why haven’t you added XYZ feature?

Either because we haven’t gotten to it yet or because we don’t know you want it. Email us at feedback@cointracker.io!

Privacy & Security

Are you a secure platform?

Security is a top priority for us. Please see the security measures we put in place to protect your security and privacy.

Is this a scam? Are you going to steal my crypto?

No. CoinTracker does not have access to your private keys nor the ability to withdraw your crypto. See more about our security here.

Do you sell my crypto data?

No. We will never sell your crypto data. See our full privacy policy here.

How do I delete my account?

You can delete your account and all your account data at any time from the settings page.

Business Model

Is this free?

CoinTracker’s portfolio tracker service is free and we plan to maintain this service for free.

How do you make money?

We offer paid services to help you figure out your crypto taxes and plan on introducing a paid subscription service for premium tracking features in the future.

  1. A paid premium tier of portfolio tracking including power features such as tracking multiple portfolios, tax management, etc.
  2. A crypto basket as a service with an assets under management fee. You can read more about this here.

Cost Basis

What is the difference between net fiat invested and cost basis?

Put simply, net fiat invested is how much fiat money you put into your current crypto holdings. Formally, net fiat invested is the total amount of fiat currency (e.g. USD, EUR, JPY, etc.) invested into crypto assets minus the total amount of fiat currency received from your crypto sales.

Note that this number can be zero if all your crypto is a gift, if you have never bought any crypto, if you are a merchant who only gets crypto as a form of payment (but never pays for it), or if you sell your crypto for the same amount that you paid for it with fiat currency. Net fiat invested can also be negative, for example, if you sell your crypto for more than it cost to buy it in the first place.

Cost basis is similar to net fiat invested, but with some key differences. Formally, cost basis is the total fair market value of your currently held crypto assets at the time you acquired them. This value is used to determine the capital gains tax when you sell your crypto assets.

The differences between cost basis and net fiat invested occur when the value of your crypto holdings changes, but not due to a change in the amount of fiat used to acquire those holdings. For example, if someone gifts you a bitcoin, you take on the donor's cost basis at the time of the original purchase of that coin, however your net fiat invested is unchanged. Also if you trade a bitcoin for an ether, then your cost basis will adjust to incorporate the sale of the bitcoin and the purchase of an ether at fair market value, whereas your net fiat invested is still unchanged. Similarly if you get a forked asset (e.g. Bitcoin Cash from your Bitcoin holdings), then your cost basis will increase accordingly, however your net fiat investment is unchanged.

On the other hand if you buy $1,000 worth of bitcoin, your cost basis and net fiat invested both increase by $1,000. The same applies in reverse if you sell $1,000 of bitcoin (both cost basis and net fiat invested decrease by $1,000). Transfers within a user’s wallet don’t affect net fiat invested nor cost basis. Note that while net fiat invested can be negative, cost basis is always a non-negative number.

Here are some examples to make it clearer:

Event Crypto Holdings Net Fiat Invested Cost Basis Market Value
Jon buys 1 BTC for $1,000 1 BTC $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Jon receives a gift of 1 ETH (fair market value is $100; gifter’s basis was $50 when purchased) 1 BTC, 1 ETH $1,000 $1,050 $1,100
BTC price goes from $1,000 → $10,000; ETH price goes from $100 → $250
Jon sells 0.1 BTC for 4 ETH (fair market value is $1,000) 0.9 BTC, 5 ETH $1,000 $1,950 $10,000
Jon moves 4 ETH to his hardware wallet 0.9 BTC, 5 ETH $1,000 $1,950 $10,000
BTC forks with 1 BCH for every BTC (fair market value for BCH is $100) 0.9 BTC, 0.9 BCH, 5 ETH $1,000 $2,040 $10,090
Jon sells 0.9 BTC and 4 ETH for $10,000 0.9 BCH, 1 ETH -$9,000 $340* $340
*Based on FIFO calculation (see below)
How is cost basis calculated?

In order to calculate cost basis, we look at the fair market value of the amount being paid (left side of transaction) at the moment of the transaction. So for example, if you are paying $1,000 USD for 1 BTC, then the cost basis is $1,000. If you are paying 1 BTC for 10 ETH, then your cost basis is the fair market value of 1 BTC at that time. For fiat currency, it's easy — the value of the fiat is the cost basis. If it's a crypto payment, then we look up the fair market value of that coin at that time from different sources (e.g. exchange, cryptocompare, etc.).

All calculations default to a first-in first-out (FIFO) model. We also support additional methods of specific identification (such as highest-in-first out [HIFO] and last-in-first-out [LIFO] from the settings).

My cost basis/ROI is totally wrong in CoinTracker. Why?

Please make sure you have done the following:

  • Added your full crypto trade history (e.g., fiat → crypto → crypto → fiat) across all your trades and exchanges. We cannot correctly calculate cost basis and ROI without knowing the full history of how you got the coins you have today. You can do this by adding all the exchanges you used to trade, syncing local wallets, bulk uploading transactions via CSV, and/or adding manual transactions
  • If an exchange you use is missing, please send us an email at feedback@cointracker.io so we can add it. In the meantime please add the transactions manually.
  • If you use Bittrex: unfortunately their API makes only supports a rolling 30 day window for trade history. Please make sure to bulk upload your transaction history via CSV from the zippy next to the exchange on the wallets page (you only need to do this once).
  • If you use Gemini or Liqui: unfortunately their APIs do not support withdrawals and deposits. Please manually add deposit and withdrawal transactions from the transactions page.

If you have done all of the above and there is still a problem, send us an email at feedback@cointracker.io.

Why can’t I just edit my own cost basis?

We are working on adding this feature soon.

Investing

How do I get rich quick off of crypto?

We recommend avoiding this mentality when investing. Have folks made a lot of money quickly with crypto assets? Yes. However, many folks have also lost a lot of money; you just don’t hear about those stories in the media.

Make sure to always understand anything you are investing in before doing so, or at least make sure you have someone you trust watching your back.

Which coins should I buy?

CoinTracker does not provide investment advice.

That said, there are many factors to consider when making a crypto investment, such as purpose or utility of a coin, reputation of the team, whitepaper, code (how much active development is going on), which exchanges are listing the coin, is it a coin with its own blockchain or a token on an existing blockchain (e.g., ERC20 tokens on Ethereum), etc.

In general, avoid get rich quick schemes and don’t fall for pressure to invest NOW!!! There will always be more opportunities for investment, and it’s better to miss an opportunity that you don’t understand or aren’t comfortable with than jump onto a bad/scam investment.

CoinTracker is also planning on piloting a service to help you setup your own crypto basket. Feel free to check out more details here.

Tax

Disclaimer: CoinTracker is provided for informational purposes only. This service is not intended to substitute for tax, audit, accounting, investment, financial, nor legal advice. For financial, tax, or legal advice please consult your own professional. The information on CoinTracker is subject to change without notice. All information is provided "as is." CoinTracker disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Please see our full disclaimer.

How are cryptocurrencies taxed?

Tax laws vary around the world. Please familiarize yourself with the tax rules that apply to you based on your country/jurisdiction.

Most countries consider cryptocurrencies to be capital assets. Therefore if the asset appreciates in value and you sell/trade/use it for profit, the gains are taxed like capital gains. If the asset depreciates in value and you sell/trade/use it at a loss, you may be able to deduct the losses against other capital gains to reduce your taxes.

The amount of tax depends on how much capital gain/loss there has been on the asset, how long you have held the asset, and the specific regulations in your country/jurisdiction. Because each taxable event may create a capital gain, you need to know the date, cost basis, sale value, and any fees associated with each transaction.

Generally speaking, these are considered taxable events:

  • Selling cryptocurrency for fiat currency (i.e. USD, EUR, JPY, etc.)
  • Trading cryptocurrency for other cryptocurrency
  • Using cryptocurrency to buy a good or service
  • Receiving cryptocurrency as a result of a fork or from mining

On the other hand, the following are generally not considered taxable events:

  • Buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency
  • Donating cryptocurrency to a tax-exempt organization
  • Gifting cryptocurrency to anyone (if the gift is sufficiently large it may trigger a gift tax)
  • Transferring cryptocurrency from one wallet that you own to another wallet that you own

How does the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treat cryptocurrency?

In 2014, the IRS released guidance on virtual currencies (i.e. cryptocurrencies). Some highlights include:

  • Cryptocurrencies are treated as personal property (not currency) and are therefore taxed as capital assets
  • Capital gains from selling cryptocurrency for fiat currency (e.g. USD) or using cryptocurrency to purchase goods or services are subject to capital gains tax
  • Cryptocurrencies that are obtained from mining are taxable as income at their fair market value at the time they are received
  • Mining equipment can be deducted as a legitimate business expense

In what jurisdiction are US citizens taxed on cryptocurrency?

All US citizens and US residents are subject to a worldwide income tax. Any currency — fiat or crypto — earned anywhere in the world is taxable. For example buying a product/service using cryptocurrency that has appreciated in value is taxable, as is realizing a capital gain on a foreign crypto-exchange.

Do I need to pay tax on my cryptocurrency?

If you traded, sold, or used any of your cryptocurrency to purchase something, then you may need to pay tax on these assets. If you were gifted or given cryptocurrency as payment, salary, or as a gift/donation, then this income should be reported just like any other income you receive.

If you are just buying cryptocurrency with your own money and storing it (no selling/trading/using it), then you likely do not need to pay tax on it. #HODL

What if I only traded crypto:crypto within an exchange without cashing out to fiat?

That is still a taxable event and treated the same as if you sold your cryptocurrency for fiat and then bought new cryptocurrency with that fiat. The taxable event is selling cryptocurrency (whether for cryptocurrency or fiat), not whether you cash out of an exchange with fiat currency.

If I buy something with crypto is that a taxable event?

Probably, but it depends on the rules of your country/jurisdiction. If it is considered a taxable event in your country, then you would be paying tax on the capital gains (the amount that the asset appreciated while you held it).

For example let’s say you bought one bitcoin for $1,000 and then you bought a car with that bitcoin. At the time of the purchase, the bitcoin was worth $20,000. The $19,000 of capital gains are taxable.

How are cryptocurrencies taxed if I earn them rather than buy them?

Most countries consider earning cryptocurrencies as a barter transaction (payment-in-kind). This means that you would be taxed as though you had earned an equivalent amount of fiat currency as income.

For example, if you earned one bitcoin, valued at $1,000, then you would be taxed as though you earned $1,000 of income.

What if I receive or give cryptocurrency as a tip or gift?

Gift and tipping rules vary from country to country. If required to report as taxable income, you would simply convert the cryptocurrency to their fair market value at the time they are received.

Generally giving cryptocurrency as a gift is a non-taxable event for the giver, unless it meets the threshold for a gift tax. For the receiver, in addition to any taxable income that may be relevant, you will also take on the cost basis of the cryptocurrency from the donor. For example let’s say that Lisa buys one bitcoin for $100. Then she gifts it to Rashmi on a day when the fair market value for bitcoin is $1,000. Rashmi’s cost basis for the bitcoin is still $100.

What happens if I receive a coin from a fork?

There is some debate about how to treat forked coins (e.g. as a stock dividend, etc.) as there is no authoritative guidance from the IRS. That said, the most conservative and sensible approach seems to be following well-established “treasure trove” doctrine where the IRS has long held that “found” money is a taxable event.

So for example if you own one bitcoin (BTC) and it forks into one bitcoin (BTC) and one bitcoin cash (BCH), then the one BCH you receive needs to be reported as taxable ordinary income (not a capital gain). This is true whether or not you sell your BCH. In addition, the amount you use for your reported income becomes your basis for the new BCH, and what you will use to calculate capital gains when you sell your BCH.

There is also some debate as to the exact method for calculating the fair market value for the BCH. For example there could be a time delay between when the fork occurs and when you gain control of the forked coin depending on whether you are using a local wallet or an exchange wallet. One simple, straightforward approach is taking the price at the time the forked coin (BCH) becomes available to you in your wallet (whether on an exchange or a local wallet) as the price for basis and taxable income. If you are unsure what to to here, please consult your tax professional.

How do I report mined cryptocurrency?

It depends on whether you are a hobby miner or a self-employed (business) miner. Here are some of the measures that the IRS provides for determining which camp you are in:

  • The manner in which the taxpayer carries on the activity
  • The expertise of the taxpayer or his advisors
  • The time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity
  • Expectation that assets used in activity may appreciate in value
  • The success of the taxpayer in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities
  • The taxpayer’s history of income or losses with respect to the activity
  • The amount of occasional profits, if any, which are earned

As you can see, there is some amount of subjectivity to the classification. As an example, if you have a full-time custom mining rig, you are probably a business, and if you are randomly doing some mining on an old computer, you are probably a hobbyist. In both cases you will need to report your mined coins as taxable ordinary income and your basis will be the fair market value at the time you receive the coins.

As a hobbyist your income is not subject to the 15.3% self-employment tax (only normal income tax), however you receive fewer and less valuable deductions against your income.

If you are a hobbyist:

  • the income will go on line 21 (other income) of your Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return)
  • Expenses directly associated with mining will go on a Schedule A form (Itemized Deductions); miscellaneous subject to 2% of AGI limitation

If you are a business miner:

  • Income and expenses both go on a Schedule C form (Profit or Loss from Business)

What if I donate my cryptocurrency?

In the US, if you donate your cryptocurrency to an IRS-recognized tax-exempt charity (e.g. 501(c)(3) organization), the IRS does not require you to pay capital gains on the transaction and you can deduct the value of your donation based on the fair market value of the cryptocurrency on the date of the donation.

Do wash sales apply to cryptocurrency?

A wash sale occurs when you incur a capital loss, and then buy a replacement stock or security within a 30-day window before or after the capital loss is incurred. For example, let’s say you buy a Google stock for $1,000 on January 1, sell it for $800 on January 10. You have incurred a capital loss of $200. Let’s say however than within 30 days (before or after) January 10 (even if it falls on a separate taxable year), you buy another Google stock — that is considered a wash sale and you cannot deduct the capital loss. Wash sales are in place to prevent people from taking losses in one tax year and then immediately buying back into the stock.

There is some debate as to whether wash sales apply to cryptocurrency sales, however the IRS specifically states that wash sales only apply to stocks and securities. Since the IRS has also issued guidance that cryptocurrencies are property, we do not calculate/apply wash sales. You should consult your CPA or tax professional for further advice on whether to apply wash sales to your cryptocurrency trades.

Can I apply a 1031 like-kind exchange to my cryptocurrency trades?

A 1031 like-kind exchange allows you to swap property with someone else without having to pay taxes as long as the property being exchanged is “like kind” (i.e. similar). Typically these rules are meant to apply to real estate transactions, however there is some debate about whether they apply to other types of transactions such as crypto:crypto trades.

Most experts believe that crypto:crypto trades do not qualify for like-kind exchanges, and this is also the conservative approach so it is the philosophy we follow as well. Additionally, in 2018, the IRS has clarified that like-kind exchanges only apply to real estate (i.e. not cryptocurrency).

What is my tax rate for my crypto gains?

In the US, the amount you pay in federal taxes on your crypto gains depends on how long you have held the coins and your ordinary tax rate.

If you have held coins for one year or less, they are considered short term capital gains. In this scenario, the gains are simply added to your income for tax purposes and taxed at your ordinary income tax rate (you can look this up here). This is the higher tax treatment scenario.

If you have held the coins for more than one year, they are considered long term capital gains. In this scenario, the gains are taxed between 0 – 20% depending on your ordinary income tax rate (you can look them up here). This is the lower tax treatment scenario.

For example let’s say that your annual income is $50,000 and you are filing as single. You buy one bitcoin on January 1, 2016 for $400 and sell it on January 1, 2017 for $1,000. You have a short term capital gain of $600, which taxed at your ordinary income tax rate of 25% results in a tax of 0.25 * $600 = $150 in additional federal taxes.

Instead let’s say that your annual income is $30,000 (still filing as single). You buy one bitcoin on January 1, 2016 for $400 and sell if on January 2, 2017 for $1,000. You have a long term capital gain of $600. Your ordinary income tax rate is 15%, and your long term capital gains rate is 0%. Therefore you pay no federal tax on this bitcoin sale (state taxes may still apply).

You can read more about IRS’s guidance on short and long term capital gains here.

Do I have to report every transaction where I buy something with cryptocurrency?

If your government has judged that capital gains were made when you spend cryptocurrency, then yes (like in the U.S., for example). This includes crypto:crypto trades.

How can I figure out my crypto taxes?

CoinTracker offers a few different methods to help you figure out your U.S. crypto taxes. Additionally, if you are in the United States, you can refer to the IRS’s guidance on cryptocurrency taxes. Beyond that, you should consult your tax professional to understand how much tax you owe.

What options do I have for calculating my capital gains?

By default, the simplest and most conservative method is first-in-first-out (FIFO). This means that the first coin that you purchase (chronologically) is the first coin counted for a sale. The alternative is specific identification where you identify exactly which coin is being spent from history using another method (e.g., highest-in-first-out [HIFO], last-in-first-out [LIFO], etc.).

For example let’s say that you buy one bitcoin for $400 in 2015, one bitcoin for $5,000 in September 2017, and one bitcoin for $4,000 in October 2017. Then you sell one bitcoin at the December 2017 for $15,000. Using FIFO, your capital gains would take the $15,000 proceeds and subtract the first cost basis for that coin ($400 from 2015). This would result in a long term capital gain of $15,000 – $400 = $14,600. Using HIFO, the capital gain would be $15,000 – $5,000 = $10,000 and using LIFO it would be $15,000 – $4,000 = $11,000.

IRS’s guidance is that FIFO and specific identification may both be used for stocks and bonds, however there is no specific guidance for cryptocurrency in this matter. There is debate in the community as to whether specific identification will be accepted by the IRS. The most conservative approach is to simply use FIFO, though specific identification may be more tax advantaged (see more information here). Please consult your tax professional for guidance on your personal situation.

How often are cryptocurrency taxes due?

The U.S. has a pay-as-you-earn tax system. That means, when you get a paycheck from your employer, taxes are withheld throughout the year. When you run a business, you pay quarterly taxes. When you owe more than $1,000 in capital gains for the year, you should be making quarterly payments as well (if you owe less than $1,000, then one annual payment is fine). Here is IRS’s guidance on quarterly taxes for capital gains.

You should be making your best estimates and if you overpay or underpay, you can correct this at the end of the year using Form 2210 (Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates, and Trusts). If you do not make estimated quarterly payments when required, or underpay too much, there are fees.

Which tax forms do I need to complete?

You should consult your tax professional to figure this out.

Generally speaking, in the U.S., you will want a Form 8949 (Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets) complete with your cryptocurrency transaction history, a summary of your overall capital gains (across all assets) on your Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses), and then your Form 1040 (Individual Income Tax Return).

Additionally, if any of your cryptocurrency assets were lost or stolen, you will want to complete Form 4684 (Casualties and Theft). If you held $10,000 or more on a foreign exchange (non-US based) at any time during the tax year, you need to file a FBAR. If you held more than $75,000 on a foreign exchange during the tax year, then you must additionally file a Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, a.k.a FATCA) if, on a foreign exchange, you held either more than $75,000 (at any time during the tax year) or more than $50,000 (on the last day of the tax year). If you underpaid your quarterly taxes for capital gains, then you will want to complete a Form 2210 (Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates, and Trusts).

Where can I get tax advice on cryptocurrency?

Please speak with a CPA, accountant, or other tax profession who is familiar with your financial situation and the local tax laws.

How can I avoid paying crypto taxes?

You should always pay your taxes.

There is a good chance you’ll get caught if you try to evade crypto taxes, and you don’t want to be paying late fees to your government or worse. Remember, all transactions on the blockchain are on a public, immutable ledger forever. If your government ever finds out that you tried to evade taxes, then can impose penalties on you retroactively.

Additionally, many exchanges are starting to report trading history to governments either proactively or due to government subpoenas, and governments themselves are starting to get more intelligent about tracking down tax evaders. Don’t be the person caught committing tax fraud.

I accidentally did not properly report my tax for cryptocurrency for historical tax years. What should I do?

Speak with your tax professional. The IRS has also issued guidance on amending your tax return for a previous year.

This is ridiculous!

Sorry, we don’t make the rules! Feel free to contact your representative to let them know how you feel.

Do you report my capital gains to the IRS?

No. We are not a tax preparation service (note: the exception here is if you get the ultimate package, we will connect you with a crypto CPA to help you file your taxes with the IRS). We simply offer informational tools to help you figure out your own crypto taxes.

Where can I get more information about cryptocurrency taxes?

Please speak with your tax professional. In addition, here are some great resources to examine:

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