Long thought of as a novelty or a niche investment, cryptocurrencies are slowly but surely gaining credibility with mainstream businesses. Major publicly-traded companies from Microsoft to AT&T are experimenting with offering crypto payment options to their customers, and over two dozen public companies are now holding more than $2 billion in crypto on their balance sheets. Industry experts are beginning to recognize crypto’s potential as a growth area, and one Big Four firm recently joined in by adding Bitcoin and Ethereum to its corporate treasury account.
The Canadian arm of global accounting and professional services firm KPMG announced its purchase of BTC and ETH in early February as part of a bullish strategy on cryptoassets. Kareem Sadek, a partner and advisory and risk consulting blockchain executive for KPMG Canada, described the approach as “prudent,” with the firm only considering purchasing BTC and ETH thus far—and choosing to keep silent on how much it’s buying.
The firm already offers crypto-related services in the realms of taxes, accounting, and legal counsel: “Our DeFi workshops now include live demos of multiple applications, which inform how institutions can engage with applications and manage the associated risks,” Sadek said. “Being a multi-faceted professional services firm, we are uniquely positioned to engage with our clients in these workshops to share our insights that form the foundation of our support when helping in developing their strategy, roadmap, and even proof-of-concepts.”
KPMG Canada is also looking to bolster institutional participation in Web3, with a focus on NFTs, the metaverse, and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). DAOs are bodies focused on transparency and member control and leverage blockchain technology to provide a secure ledger for transactions.
The move comes as a wide variety of mainstream financial market participants, from banks to hedge funds, brokerages, and insurers, are increasingly purchasing cryptocurrencies and are continuing to explore the space’s potential for innovation and profit. According to a recent study by Fidelity, roughly 90% of institutions interested in cryptocurrencies are expected to allocate a portion of their treasury accounts to the digital currencies.
While KPMG is just dipping its toe into the pool, it’s expected that many other companies large and small will be following suit in the coming years, leading to additional opportunities to innovate and profit in the rapidly-evolving market.