Shopify Bitcoin payments integration triggers legal questions from the community
Following the announced integration of the payment app, Strike, with e-commerce platform Shopify to accept Bitcoin (BTC) through the Lightning Network, the crypto community raised concerns over the legal implications of the move.
Crypto researcher Matt Ahlborg believes that the event is a very significant development for BTC as it allows the offloading of BTC without the need to go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.
What Jack Mallers is really saying is that you will be soon be able to offload your Bitcoins in the real world without KYC’ing through an exchange first.
If this is true, it is actually an extremely substantive and important development for Bitcoin.
— Matt Ahlborg (@MattAhlborg) April 7, 2022
However, lawyer Kevin Thompson pointed out in a reply that the event is likely to make regulators frustrated. Being able to spend BTC without going through KYC enables users to dump BTC and avoid taxes, according to Thompson. He predicts that regulators may respond to the event by “creating reporting requirements for Shopify.”
Glennhodl, a Twitter user, also thinks that the government may take steps to address the issue of offloading BTC in major stores without doing KYC. However, he notes that while regulators can try to fight it, they won’t be able to really stop it.
Not to shit on the parade but…
I’d be absolutely stunned if the US govt. just accepts you walking into any major store and spending #bitcoin KYC-free.
Ultimately they can’t stop it, but I’m pretty sure they’re gonna fight it.
The King’s gambit is the perfect metaphor.
— Glenn ‘$100k in May’ Hodl (@glennhodl) April 8, 2022
David Hood suggests not taxing low-value transactions. In a tweet, he commended the recent development but also explained that more people would “take advantage” of the integration if there are no taxes on BTC purchases under $600.
Related: Singaporean fintech adds Bitcoin payments for merchants with BitPay partnership
Back in February, e-commerce giant eBay also hinted at the integration of crypto payments with its platform. In an interview, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said that the company is eyeing different payment methods as they process billions of dollars in volume within their platform.
Meanwhile, the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) recently launched a program that enables employees within participating companies to get paid in BTC. Through a Bitcoin Savings Plan, employees have the option to take a part of their pay in BTC without paying any transaction costs.