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I know that trading stocks is allowed for F-1 students in the US as long as income/losses are reported when taxes are done. (Is Stock Trading legal for a student on F-1 Visa in USA?)

How about buying and selling cryptocurrency as an investment? Would that be different from a legal standpoint?

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    Possible duplicate of Investment options for f1 visa students in USA – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 9 '17 at 3:13
  • @FranckDernoncourt thanks, but I'm not entirely sure if it answers my question. It does seem to imply that since this falls under 'trading' it is okay, but I want to be sure. The purpose of buying concurrency is not necessarily trading I suppose, wonder if there's something else that I need to be concerned with. – Sach Nov 9 '17 at 3:23
  • @Sach by saying buying & selling cryptocurrency do you mean, coverting them to USD back and forth or merely moving them from one cryptocurrency to another or the exchange's account balance? Do you plan to actually use part of that money as living expenses or withdrawing it for any similar reason? – Leon Nov 9 '17 at 9:00
  • @Leon I'm actually looking at it as a long term investment. I will definitely not convert them back and forth into USD very frequently, but the idea is to buy some cryptocurrency and sell them later on (perhaps couple of times a year at most, likely less) if the prices go up. So it will definitely be an income/loss I make here and I will report it to the IRS. The concern I have is whether that will impact my visa status; i.e., will it count as 'employment' given that I might earn some money out of it. – Sach Nov 9 '17 at 17:32
  • Simply put, I would like to buy some cryptocurrency and hold onto them for a period of time to be sold later on. – Sach Nov 9 '17 at 17:36
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Given your clarification that you re only intending to use cryptocurrency as a capital asset & a long term investment vehicle, and not as a business day trading or trading for others, I would say this definitely is NOT illegal.

The tax man says cryptocurrency is property. The IRS made this clear in Notice 2014-21.

As long as you report it every time you do transfer it and an income loss/gain is triggered, I see nothing wrong here.

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