Newsletter August 2021 – Internationale Rechnungslegung

Jeden Monat erstellt Carsten Ernst, Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter bei der WirtschaftsTreuhand, einen Beitrag zu Themen der internationalen Rechnungslegung. Im folgenden Beitrag wird das Thema Kryptowährung behandelt.

Accounting for Cryptocurrencies – Can the Opinion of the German Tax Authorities Be a Model?

The accounting treatment of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum is an exciting (and often difficult) question to answer. The German tax authorities have now published a statement (currently still in draft form) in which questions regarding the accounting treatment of cryptocurrencies are also addressed. As an impulse to think about this exciting topic during the vacation season, we briefly summarise the current view of the German tax authorities.

In the case of so-called „mining“, the company’s own computer power is provided for transaction processing or verification, in return for which the person providing the computer power (so-called „miner“) receives units of a virtual currency. In the opinion of the German tax authorities, this is an acquisition process, and cryptocurrencies are (non-depreciable) assets.

Depending on their intended use, the currencies acquired are to be recognised at cost under non-current assets (financial assets) or current assets (other assets). The acquisition costs are to be measured primarily – if available – according to the stock exchange price. If no stock market price is available, the market price is used. This can be determined as the average value of the exchange rate from three different trading platforms (such as Coinbase or Kraken) or web-based lists.

It should be noted that the acquisition of virtual currencies in exchange for state currencies or the acquisition through mining is considered acquisitions and the exchange for other virtual currencies. On the other hand, the exchange against state or virtual currencies or the use as a means of payment for the acquisition of services and goods is considered disposal. Consequently, acquiring cryptocurrencies using existing cryptocurrencies results in both an acquisition and a disposal transaction (which may be taxable).

Should you ever lose track of the big picture, my colleagues and I will be happy to help and guide you safely through the IFRS accounting jungle. Contact me by email at

Happy accounting,


Ihr Ansprechpartner fuer IFRS Carsten Ernst bei der WirtschaftsTreuhand


Hier finden Sie weitere Newsletter von Carsten Ernst zum Thema Internationale Rechnungslegung.

–    January 2021: “Has the plane landed – Introduction to our IFRS 16 series
–    February 2021: “IFRS 16: Scope and Exemptions
–    March 2021: “IFRS 16: Identifying a lease”
–    April 2021: “IFRS 16: Determining the lease term”
–    May 2021: “IFRS 16: Recognition and initial measurement”
–    June 2021: “IFRS 16: Subsequent measurement”
–    July 2021: “IFRS 16: Presentation, classification and notes disclosure