For tax evaders stunned by the leak of the “Panama Papers” maintained by the international law firm Mossack Fonseca, bitcoin could be the next big thing.
Even as governments around the world have begun cooperating to nab suspected tax cheats, virtual bitcoin wallets filled with the cryptocurrency possess the potential to become what University of California-Irvine law professor Omri Marian has dubbed “super tax havens.”
These wallets exist in no physical jurisdiction, are not subject to taxation at the source, and do not require the assistance of expensive financial intermediaries such as Mossack Fonseca to administer. As more disenfranchised laborers disappear into the underground gig economy, exchanging their skills for money, bitcoin offers them a convenient end-around for the traditional income reporting demanded of employees and independent contractors.
Individuals who sell illegal drugs online or engage in other illicit activities, such as completing math homework or writing term papers for other students, now regularly request payment in bitcoin and filter their communications through encrypted e-mail networks such as Tutanota.
“It’s a very easy way to optimize your wealth,” explained a computer programmer who supplements his day