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For Cross-Chain Taxes, You Need a Cross-Chain Block Explorer

Each April, U.S. crypto investors lose hair and sleep, trying to untangle crypto transactions for the IRS. It’s complicated for anyone using DeFi protocols. For those who have moved assets cross-chain, taxes can be an order of magnitude more complex.

Cross-chain taxes meme with the crazy conspiracy theory guy saying "see, I moved it back to Ethereum in November."

At Axelar, we believe in eliminating unnecessary trade-offs for Web3 users and developers. We build secure cross-chain communication infrastructure that allows developers to choose the blockchain that’s right for their use case, without locking themselves in silos of users and liquidity. We also build tools that make it simple and approachable to build and use this cross-chain infrastructure.

One of these is axelarscan.io, a block explorer for the Axelar network. Axelarscan will not do your cross-chain taxes for you. But it is Web3’s first tool that allows users to completely trace the state of their cross-chain transactions. Enter a recipient or sender address and Axelarscan will return a full, chronological list of transactions to or from that address, including source and destination chain, and the asset that was transferred in each. Here’s what that looks like via crosschain.axelarscan.io:

Cross-chain taxes: Use axelarscan to track cross-chain transaction history for any address.

Sorry, this is not going to help you with your 2021 taxes: Axelar began mainnet rollout in January 2022. However, for those using bridges built on Axelar, Axelarscan may make 2022 taxes a bit easier. One of those bridges is Satellite, a demo app that (at this writing) bridges eight blockchain networks, including Cosmos and EVM chains.

Until then, those of you struggling with your cross-chain taxes are in good company. And with good company sometimes comes good ideas. Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures started a helpful thread on crypto tax preparation software. And crypto tax preparer Lukka has a very thorough post explaining why you may not need to worry about cross-chain mint-and-burn transactions as taxable events. (“May” is an important word in that sentence.)

In addition to transaction history, Axelarscan will let you:

  • Check the status of a cross-chain transaction through deposit confirmation, batch signature and gateway sending.
  • Review network stats like transactions, volume and TVL at axelarscan.io/transfers.
  • Filter transactions by from-chain, to-chain, token and status.
  • Make informed staking decisions: Research validators, looking up their EVM votes and uptime data at https://axelarscan.io/evm-votes.

In 2022, check out Satellite for bridging assets between chains. And keep an eye on our blog and Twitter for more info on dApps built on Axelar. Cross-chain activity is about to get a lot more complex and interesting, and we aim to keep cross-chain accounting simple and boring, like it should be.