Tech Transformers

Now you can file bitcoin tax reports

It was hard to go through 2014 without hearing about a bitcoin company going bankrupt, or the alleged "father" of the digital currency being involved in a car chase—but the market might have just got slightly more professional.

A Germany company has launched a platform where bitcoin users can track transactions from all of their wallets in one place, to help users of the cryptocurrency file tax reports.

Users of Coyno—which went live as a beta version six weeks ago—can combine wallets from six providers, including Coinbase, and display them in one place, a tool which is useful for people with several wallets.

Normally when you make a bitcoin transaction, you have to track it in the so-called "blockchain"—a public ledger of payments—where it shows up as a number. Coyno's platform allows you to see exactly where and who you have sent it to, much like a bank statement, enabling customers to track spending. The start-up does not facilitate transactions however.

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Levin Keller, Coyno's CEO, said he hopes the software will be an "enabler" for the bitcoin sector. It was created in response to people being put off the digital currency because of accounting issues, he said.

"A lot of people are convinced bitcoin is a great idea and professionals would use it, but say: 'OK that's fine, but what do I say to my accountant?' Because the accountant would say it was crazy to have bitcoin on the books," Keller told CNBC at tech fair CeBIT in Hanover, Germany.

"I heard this frequently and this was a reason for people not to use bitcoin. It is a headache for bookkeeping."

Taxing bitcoin

Coyno said it was going to release a tax reporting feature in its program as an increasing number of businesses looked to accept the cryptocurrency as payment.

On Tuesday, Japanese internet giant Rakuten said it would accept bitcoin on its e-commerce platform, while everything from beer to tuition fees can now be paid for with the currency.

In the U.S., bitcoin is seen as an asset and is subject to capital gains tax, while in Germany, it is subject to income tax.

"The main issue is bitcoin is seen as an asset. So when you get that on your books, and the value changes and you buy stuff with it, you get a benefit and that is measured in money. This is a gain that you need to be able to declare and pay taxes for, especially if you are a corporation in the U.S.," Keller said.

So far Coyno has just 200 users. It charges 20 euros ($21.20) a year for a personal account. For companies, Keller said that the fee would likely depend on the number of transactions being made.

Keller told CNBC the company is aiming to raise 200,000 euros ($212,630) of funding to keep it going until the end of the year, and a further 1 million euros in 2016 to help it grow.

Bitcoin is a "virtual" currency that allows users to exchange online credits for goods and services. While there is no central bank that issues them, bitcoins can be created online by using a computer to complete difficult tasks, a process known as mining.

The digital currency has sparked interest among venture capitalists on both sides of the Atlantic but has also run into regulatory issues in many countries. Currency analysts have also warned of its unstable nature and the Bank of England has also provided reach of the hypothetical risks that it poses to financial system.

Jeffrey Robinson, the author of "BitCon: The Naked Truth about Bitcoin" is a notable critic of the digital currency. He told CNBC previously that he believed it was a "pretend currency masquerading as a pretend commodity."