Bitcoin and ethereum, two of the biggest cryptocurrencies, suddenly surged this week, with prices soaring after a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report.

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The bitcoin price has rebounded from a low of $32,000 in January to over $40,000, after falling sharply from a peak of nearly $70,000 per bitcoin late last year. The price of ethereum has also risen, up 20% last week.

Now, a bipartisan group of U.S. House representatives has reintroduced a bill that would exempt people from paying taxes on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies under $200, in what one congressman called "a major step forward.

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"Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act" – Revisions to the IRS Tax Code …… [+] Announced this week by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) announced, as shown here.

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"Virtual currencies are reshaping our daily lives, and the United States needs to recognize this and work to treat these currencies fairly in our tax code," Congressman David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) said in a statement. "This legislation is an important step forward, and it lays the foundation for growing the digital economy."

Designed to simplify the tax burden for everyday cryptocurrency users who must now report even the smallest capital gains, the Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act – an amendment to the IRS tax code – was announced this week by cryptocurrency-friendly representatives Schweikert, Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), that if the legislation becomes law, it will apply retroactively to all qualifying transactions as of December 31, 2021.

Emmer, Schweikert and Soto are co-chairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, which now has 35 lawmakers as members.

"Not only will this create a level playing field for digital currencies, it will also help unleash innovation in apps like micropayments, which can contain dozens of transactions per minute and are therefore difficult to comply with current laws," said Jerry Brito, executive director of cryptocurrency think tank Coin Center, who has been lobbying for the bill.

Currently, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users must report changes in the value of cryptocurrency between the time it is purchased and the time it is used for transactions (including small retail purchases).

"While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are technological innovations in payments, today you have to track and report every transaction you make with them, whether it's a $10,000 investment transaction or you buy a 99-cent song online or at a coffee shop," Brito added. "This obviously creates friction and puts cryptocurrencies at a disadvantage relative to other digital payment methods."

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After a period of bitcoin stagnation, the price of bitcoin spiked 10% last week,… [+] ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

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Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies have become a reputation for speculative investments in recent years as prices have soared and few companies accept bitcoin as a form of payment.

With demand for blockchain-based decentralized finance (DeFi) and collectible irreplaceable tokens (NFT) soaring, bitcoin prices have soared 300% in the past two years, and ethereum prices have climbed at an even faster rate.

Technology developments such as the second layer Bitcoin Lightning Network allowing faster and cheaper Bitcoin payments, and Tesla billionaire Elon Musk's support for meme-based Bitcoin rival Dogcoin, have strengthened the cryptocurrency's payment use cases. Last month, Tesla began allowing people to use dogcoin to buy branded goods.

"As the use of virtual currencies for retail payments increases, it is important that Americans can easily understand their tax obligations," said Kristen Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association. "By providing an exemption for small, everyday purchases, the Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act will ease the burden on consumers."