We ask developers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space for their thoughts on the industry…and throw in some random zingers to keep them on their toes!
In this week, Our 6 questions go to Michelle Legge, Head of Crypto Tax Education at Koinly – a cryptocurrency tax calculator and portfolio tracker for traders, investors and accountants.
Outside of her work at Koinly, Michelle is passionate about closing the financial literacy gap for women. Before moving into the crypto space, she ran consumer education for an Australian fintech startup, where she launched a world-first gender pay gap insurance product.
Today, Michelle is back in her native South Africa, living the digital nomad life and managing a remote team of content and social media assistants from plant-based cafes across Cape Town. As for her crypto curiosity, Michelle is cautiously optimistic and is banking on altcoins with unconventional use cases. Blame her day job, but while Michelle knows crypto is the future, the crypto tax appears to be the dark side of the moon. Helping crypto investors strategize tax seems like a worthy cause given the increasingly stringent regulations.
1 – From smart contracts to DApps, NFTs, and DeFi, we’ve seen so many of the next “killer apps” for crypto, but none have really caught on yet. What sticks?
Projects that attract Joe Public’s warm embrace are the ones that stick. With DeFi’s many yield farming products, we’re much closer to a retail use case, and that shows no signs of slowing down. But will it go fully mainstream? Possibly with time – provided the room is not forgotten. On the other hand, NFTs have seen massive adoption across all walks of life, giving the impression that this blockchain use case has cracked a very tough nut.
While the NFT arena today may be dominated by the glitz and glamor of the celebrity arts scene, I imagine NFTs will shine in more mundane ways. If the public can engage with “the blockchain” through images, it is logical to assume that everything we are used to seeing on paper will follow the path of a digitized, ownable NFT. What might that look like at the most basic level? Stock certificates, diplomas, medical records, insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, etc.
The creation, distribution and management of NFT administration with proof of ownership could spawn its own industry, much like it has already done in the gambling industry. However, for NFTs to work this way, we need to remember that the NFT art we are about to study is a taxable asset. That’s fine when we think of art, music, movies, and domain names, but no one wants to face a tax bill for falsely “profiting” from the “disposal” of a health insurance policy. It must be clear to everyone, including the tax officer, that NFTs used in this way have zero dollar value.
2 – If the world gets a new currency, will it be led by CBDCs, a permissionless blockchain like Bitcoin, or a permissioned chain like Diem?
It pains me to say, but central bank digital currencies are just getting started. Everything we’ve seen, from Biden’s executive order to the much-touted inflationary curse choking the global economy, tells us governments are hungry for CBDCs. Even without the regulatory headlines, all we have to consider is the power and control that CBDCs offer. Rishi Sunak’s Britcoin appears in the works, with disturbing undercurrents of programmability – borrowing from China’s social credit system. CBDCs will be, but in contrast to the disruptive and empowering future that Bitcoin and its friends present, CBDCs appear to be a very different blockchain beast.
3 – Which is more stupid: $500,000 bitcoin or $0 bitcoin? Why?
Don’t call me negative but I work in crypto tax. In my opinion, most of the bitcoin “mooning” happened behind the scenes, back in the good old days when governments and tax authorities were no smarter. Can stratospheric growth take place under the iron fist of rampant regulations and controls? I’m afraid not.
4 – Tell us about a hidden talent and give us a link to prove it!
A talent so hidden it might not even exist? I guess I don’t have “Bedroom DJ” in my Twitter bio for nothing, but if being good on Spotify playlists makes me gifted, so be it. “Le Crush” is the name of my pet playlistand a homage to my heady nights (perhaps seven in total?) piloting the decks of Melbourne’s noughties club scene.
5 — What talent do you lack and what would you like to have? How would you use it if you had it?
Is it because women are coded to multitask, or because we live in a high-octane, caffeine-fueled society? However, the talent I lack is the laser beam focus of a Border Collie and his tennis ball.
If the focus is on the house, then the foundation is Buffett’s famous “say no to almost everything.” The key, it seems, is to limit open tabs to a maximum of five — a big step down from the 39 that currently grabs my attention. Hyper focus in a crazy world? I think it’s a talent or rather a superpower that most of us wish for.
6 – What’s the dumbest conspiracy theory out there… and which one makes you stop for a moment?
This question – and her loaded gun – is just the thing to turn a woman off! In fact, I’m more of a sane conspiracy theorist, but there’s still a spot in my closet for a tinfoil hat.
I think like many people attracted to cryptocurrencies, our breed brings gifts of distrust – and who could blame us? Some of the rabbit hole’s biggest targets – let’s mention Big Pharma here – have backstories. It is right to question everything, and it is good to remember that no chapter on World War II is complete without an entry on the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. However, I will say this: a flat earth could be a great solution to the rising tides, right?
A wish to the young, up-and-coming blockchain community:
To the blockchain women, we need your votes. Be the reason and balance that moves us in the right direction.
https://cointelegraph.com/magazine/2022/04/10/6-questions-for-michelle-legge-of-koinly 6 questions for Michelle Legge from Koinly – Cointelegraph Magazine