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Tax and Bitcoin workshop in Rovigo, Italy

May Hen, Dr Garrick Hileman (Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance) and I travelled to Ferrara to speak at the workshop, Taxation in the Digital Age: Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. The workshop was held at the Rovigo campus of the University of Ferrara on April 12.

Taxation in the Digital Age brought together researchers with a diverse range of academic backgrounds. Dr Antonella Magliocco from the Bank of Italy described some of the legal challenges faced by European tax authorities relating to trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Garrick presented his recent paper, The Bitcoin Market Potential Index. This paper describes the potential of Bitcoin and related tehnologies to reduce financial transactions costs, with particular focus on emerging economies where these costs are currently very high. May’s presentation looked at how Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies are being used as stores of hidden wealth, and how they compare with traditional mechanisms for wealth storage including art and real estate. My presentation considered how digital monies including Bitcoin can be compared with traditional bank money and cash in the context of the economic theory of money as memory.

Special thanks to Prof. Marco Greggi for inviting us and hosting this excellent workshop.

Alfred Duncan

Update of events

We will be taking  a 1-month break during the University break and begin again just before Easter term begins. See our ‘upcoming meetings’ section for an up-to-date schedule. We have quite a few events going on amongst members of our discussion group for the month of March/April in terms of conferences, workshops, and events in Manchester, London, Exeter and Italy. Please see our ‘events’ section for more details!

Summary of February 11th and 16th meetings

On February 11th we were joined by Morten Broberg, a visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and Nikodem Szumilo, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Land Economy. We discussed Nikodem’s work in real estate finance and the tax implications regarding property transfers.

DSC_6143On February 16th we were visited by Rodrigo Ormeno Perez, a Lecturer in the Department of Taxation and Accounting at the Birmingham Business School. His visit was sponsored by the Cambridge Centre for Tax Law. We discussed his research on elite formation in tax policy making, the nature of tax administrations, and the qualitative work he has done on tax authorities and effective policy-making.

We welcome the inclusion of our two new members are looking forward to having Rodrigo back again soon.

Tax and financial stability

In a new discussion paper titled “Objectives and Challenges of Macroprudential Policy” (University of Glasgow Economics Discussion Paper 2016-02, available here), Professor Charles Nolan and I discuss recent developments in the institutional frameworks of central banks. In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, central banks have taken on wider “macroprudential” regulatory roles and responsibilities including but not limited to direct restrictions on mortgage lending.

The paper describes a link between the recent introduction of macroprudential policy regulations and seemingly counteractive tax policies. In the UK and in other countries, mortgage lending subsidies have been increased at the same time as mortgage lending restrictions have been imposed. We argue that the nature of this conflict between the treasury and the macroprudential policy authority is fundamentally different than those emerging under the standard operation of monetary policy by central banks. Consequently, it is necessary to consider the joint design of macroprudential institutions and macroprudential policies.

Alfred Duncan
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Welcome

cropped-dsc_5752.jpgWelcome to the homepage for the tax scholars group University of Cambridge! We meet weekly for an hour to talk about anything loosely related to tax. We are an open and interdisciplinary group and come from both academia, private sector, and public sector. Feel free to contact the group organizer, May, at hmh46@cam.ac.uk.