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Q&A with Shane Brunette, CEO of CryptoTaxCalculator
Crypto or blockchain?
Tell us about your organisation in 20 words or less
CryptoTaxCalculator was built for crypto natives to accurately calculate the tax obligations on their complex DeFi and NFT trading activity.
What’s your blockchain origin story?
I began my career in sales with a background in behavioural economics and psychology. Upon exploring the startup world, I noticed a common trend of individuals with innovative ideas but lacking the skills to bring them to life. I realised that I fit this description. To overcome this, I immersed myself in coding and dedicated 80-120 hours every week, seven days a week, for three years while pursuing a Master’s degree in AI.
During this time I discovered cryptocurrency, and eventually tried to build a decentralised exchange in 2018. From my own dabbling in crypto, I soon had a jumble of transactions spanning many wallets and chains, so when it came to tax time I had a nightmare on my hands. I realised that the transaction history provided by blockchains was not in a usable format to complete my own taxes. I knew I would not be the only one affected by this, so I set out to solve this problem and founded CryptoTaxCalculator in 2018.
Brag a little! Tell us about a career highlight
We bootstrapped CryptoTaxCalculator to $1 million ARR.
What industry development is exciting you?
I’m excited that industry is moving to become more on-chain and decentralised as a whole. The catastrophic meltdowns of bad actors in the past year has highlighted the need for CEXs to more transparent in regards to customer holdings, and has pushed more people to self-custody their crypto assets. I hope the trend toward using decentralised applications continues to reduce the ability for bad actors to cause events like we saw in 2022.
Outside your own business, who or what has impressed you lately and why?
The innovation on Ethereum layer 2 chains has been extremely impressive over the past few months. There are more innovative projects being developed on layer 2 chains than anywhere else in the blockchain space, and the support among projects has been astounding. Existing projects that have had success on L2 are openly assisting newer projects to get established on the chain. I am excited to see the L2 space continue to grow, leveraging the security of Ethereum and creating a fantastic decentralised financial ecosystem that is accessible to everyone.
If you could change one thing about the blockchain world, what would it be and why?
I would love to see improved awareness of crypto tax obligations in the blockchain world. With the increasing adoption of DeFi, the opportunities for investors to earn a passive income from lending, staking and providing liquidity are endless. While this presents an amazing opportunity to earn passive income, it also comes with tax obligations. Many tax jurisdictions treat these token rewards as income, with the tax obligation based on the market value at the time the rewards are received into the investor’s wallet. The problem with this is that, if the token rewards fall in value after being received, an investor could end up with a tax bill that is higher than the value of their entire portfolio. More and more people are getting caught out in this situation, leaving themselves in a position where they must sell all their holdings and use external funds just to cover their tax bill. Better awareness of crypto tax obligations will help people plan ahead of tax time and reduce the chance of being caught in a sticky situation.
What are your Go To sources for staying up to date?
As crypto moves at the speed of light, I use multiple sources to stay up to date on a daily basis. Web3 specific substacks, technical whitepapers, Twitter and podcasts all help me to stay on top of the wild world of crypto.
What’s on your horizon for replenishing your creativity or resilience?
As a founder, the reality is your work and life become one and the same however, being able to rest and re-energise is extremely important. Personally, I surf – this gets the blood going and keeps me connected with real life.
Tell us some words to live by
Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.
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