Cryptocurrency’s lack of regulation has been a major focus in the news recently. Furthermore, there is a lack of regulation over non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well, which is a further concern for consumer safety. Although the first known NFT was established in May of 2014, NFTs didn’t really take-off until 2017. Due to the unique nature of NFTs (being either jpegs, real estate, etc.) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), along with other regulatory authorities, still haven’t clearly laid out if NFTs are securities or what rules/regulations will apply. Unless securities are clearly at issue it is unclear if NFTs will fall under securities laws at this point in time. However, there is a potential way consumers can invest in NFTs related to real estate and still find protection through the SEC.
While a new category of digital assets has become mainstream in Europe, regulatory concerns in the U.S. have largely kept American sports enthusiasts out of the market for now. These new digital assets are referred to as “fan tokens”, a blockchain-based technology that allows teams to enhance their fan engagement.
The popularity of NFTs has been rapidly increasing over the past year, but regulations and guidance relating to the tax consequences of buying and selling NFTs has been slow to keep up. Despite also living on the blockchain, NFTs and cryptocurrencies are not created equally in the eyes of the IRS. The IRS has addressed the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies and published guidance for crypto-investors but has not yet published any specific guidance for NFTs. This leaves many investors in a position of uncertainty regarding the tax consequences of their investments.