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The growing adoption of crypto-assets as a way to invest is a fact and more and more people are investing part of their savings or income in cryptos.
Once this investment is made, the law of the market takes effect and the prices of crypto-assets move up or down.
You may be one of those who had the “nose for it” by buying the crypto-asset that has been a runaway success and has seen its price explode to higher and higher peaks.
You may also have bought cryptos years ago and, over time, the price has risen well.
Anyway, if you’re reading this it’s because you want to use or spend your cryptos and enjoy your investment.
The growing adoption of cryptos is resulting in the appearance of new products and services. In recent years, we can see that more and more “crypto cards” are being offered to crypto-investors.
The emergence of traditional players such as Visa and Mastercard gives the sector a boost and additional confidence in the services offered.
The different types of cards
The market is developing and the offer is now quite important with notably among the most known cards the card of Crypto.com and the one of Binance. We can distinguish several types of cards.
For some cards, the card issuer requires the user to block a minimum amount of crypto (usually the card issuer’s crypto).
There are also cards that offer to get rewards by using the card as a payment method. An incentive mechanism is proposed for some cards and allows to get a percentage of rewards in crypto on all the purchases made (cashback).
A well-known card (Crypto.com) offers a reward in $CRO up to 5% of the purchases made. As the reward is usually paid in crypto, this incentive mechanism can be interesting in the long run.
Similar to a credit card, crypto credit cards provide a monthly amount to spend.
After making purchases, the user must “pay” his bill. He will be able to use his cryptos as a means of payment.
The debit card works as a “prepaid” card. You have to load your card with crypto to be able to use it up to the loaded amount.
The crypto is then converted at each payment into the local fiat currency.
It is possible to spend your cryptos without going through the banking system, since services like BitRefill offer to convert your cryptos into gift cards (Amazon, Bol, Apple…).It is possible to spend your cryptos without going through the banking system, since services like BitRefill offer to convert your cryptos into gift cards (Amazon, Bol, Apple…).
Taxation of crypto cards
The tax regime of crypto cards does not differ from the tax regime on crypto-assets already exposed on this site.
It is therefore at the moment of conversion into cash that the capital gain is realized.
Generally, this conversion is done on an exchange platform and then the funds are deposited with a bank.
Some crypto-investors think, wrongly, that by using a crypto card, they are not liable for taxes. In reality, any purchase of goods or services with a crypto card is materialized by a conversion into fiat currency in fine ($USD, €EUR, £GPB, etc.).
This is fairly obvious for debit cards since the conversion is done at the time of payment.
For the credit card, some consider that it is the payment of a debt which does not allow to consider that there is a surplus value. This way of presenting the situation is misleading.
The creation of a debt and its subsequent repayment does not prevent the realization of a capital gain. The fact of paying a debt with an asset that has appreciated can therefore constitute a capital gain.
Therefore, at the time of the transaction or payment of the monthly bill, there is the potential realization of a capital gain (depending on the price of the crypto).
The taxation of a possible capital gain is based on the same criteria exposed in our article on crypto asset management.
In summary, if you buy crypto in 2023 and spend it quickly afterwards, following a significant increase in the price for example, the taxman could consider that the capital gain realized was made in a speculative way and therefore subject to a 33% tax as miscellaneous income
Conversely, if you spend cryptos that were acquired several years ago, this capital gain will most likely be considered as made in the normal management of your assets and not subject to tax.
In light of the difficulties crypto investors face in repatriating their earnings to banks, the crypto card can be an easier way to use their cryptos.
Each taxpayer will have to declare the taxable capital gains he will have realized during the year in his tax return if and only if they have a professional or speculative character.