Yahoo and Google start to list Bitcoin (BTC) currency

John Ralls jralls at
Sun Jul 6 10:49:02 EDT 2014

On Jul 6, 2014, at 4:38 PM, Rainer Dorsch <ml at> wrote:

> Hi John,
> On Sunday 06 July 2014 16:33:16 John Ralls wrote:
>>> If GnuCash does not use F:Q to fetch exchange rates, then the only benefit
>>> of  treating it as currency that it is easy to transfer BTC from one
>>> wallet/account to another wallet/account. That seems to me much more
>>> difficult  in GnuCash if you treat it as security.
>> Gnucash is only interested in the ratio. F::Q actually uses a CSV-formatted
>> retrieval for Yahoo, but even where it's screen-scraping it abstracts out
>> the other stuff so that we don't need to worry about it.
> I understand that. 
> To transfer BTC from one account to another, I need to transfer a security 
> from one account to another account (which has the same security type). Can I 
> do that without converting to a currency and back?

If both accounts are the same commodity, there's no need *in GnuCash* to sell the commodity from one account and buy it back in another; you can just transfer it.

*However*, if you are taxable in the US (and maybe elsewhere, I don't know), you must be very careful: Bitcoin is considered a security, and as such it is *not fungible*; you must maintain the lot-identity of your bitcoin and book a capital gain or loss -- a taxable event -- at every exchange of bitcoin with another person (natural or corporate). That may or may not be true of other tax authorities as well. Barter exchanges can be very complicated for tax purposes and regardless of your tax jurisdiction it would be wise for you to get a licensed accountant to help you make sure that you are doing it right, and since this area of tax law is rather fluid to keep in touch with your accountant so that you can keep up with legal and regulation changes.

John Ralls

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