- PwC, KPMG, Others to Play Critical Role in Crypto Audit
The surge in global adoption of cryptocurrencies saw the Big Four auditing companies getting ready to tap into the possibility of what could be with rising global acceptance of cryptocurrencies.
The big four companies are PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Ernest & Young and Deloitte.
This is coming after Goldman Sachs rubbished Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, saying they are not assets of value and should not be regarded as investment vehicles.
However, with cryptocurrency market capitalisation presently at over $260 billion, top global auditing firms are looking to tap into a new unproven market with huge potentials.
According to recent reports, the companies and other Fortune 500 companies have been working with a number of cryptocurrency-focused companies to devise means to combat regulatory bottleneck, interoperability challenges, consensus models and development of the technology.
In a recent interview, Henri Arslanian, a global crypto leader at PwC, said the Big Four firms have a very important role to play in the advancement of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
“Although Bitcoin was designed with a trustless ideology, the reality is that the industry still requires trusted entities to catalyze the development of the ecosystem,” he said.
Two years ago, PwC company (Hong Kong branch) started accepting Bitcoin payments from clients and eventually set up a crypto team after an increase in revenue generation and inflow of a new type of young clients. So far, PwC has set up crypto teams in 20 countries of operation since the first adoption.
In the last 18 months, the team has conducted over 350 engagements within the cryptocurrency sector.
According to Arslanian, PwC’s crypto teams are not only focused on tax and accounting challenges, but audit and assurance services are also in demand.
“Over the last couple of months, we’ve expanded our work. We recently closed the first ever crypto fundraising deal at PwC, in which we led a $14 million series A round for a Swiss-based crypto firm with Asian family offices. We are also the auditor for BC Group, a publicly listed crypto company in Hong Kong.”
Similarly, an experts with KPMG, Erich Braun, said that an organization’s blockchain system should be developed with the intent to meet both operational and accounting needs to comply with accounting standards and other regulatory requirements.
“SEC issuers will want to design blockchain technologies to support the entity’s internal control over financial reporting. Being able to demonstrate how these technologies achieve their objectives in a well-controlled environment is critical to a successful blockchain strategy. If the technology is not auditable, the immense benefits it brings, such as increasing efficiencies and cutting costs, may not be realized,” Braun Stated.
Also, driving change in the industry is Ernst & Young. Paul Brody, one of blockchain leaders at Ernest & Young told Cointelegraph in an interview that the firm has been working with Microsoft and ConsenSys to develop an open-source blockchain project called Baseline Protocol, which runs on the public Ethereum mainnet.
Deloitte and the World Economic Forum also released a report on blockchain interoperability. While Accenture and the Digital Dollar Foundation released a Digital Dollar white paper on May 27, which provides key findings on a U.S. central bank digital currency.
Goldman Sachs Executive Quits After Making Millions From Dogecoin
A senior manager at Goldman Sachs in London has quit the US investment bank after making millions from investing in Dogecoin, the joke crypto asset which has risen by more than 1,000 percent in value this year.
City sources said Aziz McMahon, a managing director and head of emerging market sales, had resigned from the bank after making money from investing in the digital currency based on the Doge internet meme.
Backed by famous supporters including the Tesla founder, Elon Musk, the rapper Snoop Dogg and the Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, the digital asset similar to bitcoin has soared in value over recent months.
Based on an internet meme – a humorous online phrase or photo, on this occasion a dog called Doge – the cryptocurrency rose above $0.72 against the dollar last week in anticipation of Musk’s appearance on the hit US TV show Saturday Night Live.
It has plunged by more than 30 percent this week since Musk’s appearance to about $0.50, according to Coindesk. However, it is still up by more than 1,000 percent from the start of 2021.
Little is known about how much money McMahon made exactly from betting on Dogecoin, after his departure was first reported by the website efinancialcareers. The banker, who has worked for Goldman Sachs for 14 years, did not respond to requests for comment. However, sources said they believed it was a substantial sum and that he had since left Goldman Sachs.
It is believed Aziz made the money investing on his own personal account and was not involved in trading cryptocurrencies for Goldman Sachs.
Created in 2013 by two software engineers from IBM and Adobe, the Dogecoin digital currency started as a joke parodying bitcoin. It has however rocketed in value amid a wave of speculative investment in crypto assets, fuelled by a buzz online and an aim to perpetuate the joke by pumping up its value.
What’s REALLY Behind Musk’s Bitcoin U-turn?
Elon Musk’s sudden u-turn regarding Bitcoin on Twitter – which sent prices plummeting by 15% – could be more of a PR stunt than anything else, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, deVere Group’s chief executive, comes as the Tesla billionaire boss said the company will halt sales of cars using Bitcoin due to the environmental impact of mining that cryptocurrency.
Mr Green comments: “Musk is once again flexing his influencer muscles on social media. In a somewhat Trumpian move, he’s taken to Twitter to announce a major u-turn.
“Just a few months ago, to much fanfare, Musk announced that his company Tesla had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and that it would accept it as payment for cars. The move was one of the reasons the cryptocurrency’s price has soared this year.”
He continues: “All of a sudden, he’s not so keen due to environmental concerns. But why now? Those issues surrounding the environmental impact have not come up in the last few months? Did Musk seriously not know about them before he bought $1.5 billion Bitcoin?
“There are serious and important environmental matters which urgently need to be addressed about Bitcoin mining. Any action to support the further transition to fully using sustainable energy must be championed – it is something I whole-heartedly support.
“According to research 76% of cryptocurrency miners currently use electricity from renewable energy sources as part of their energy mix. Which begs the question: why, with all his immense resources and power is Musk not able to ensure that all his Bitcoin is mined this way?
“In addition, why is he not using this influence to further advance and incentivise renewable energy for cryptocurrencies – something that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has previously tweeted about and with which Musk agreed on the social platform.”
Could there also be another driver behind the Bitcoin move?
“Musk likes being known as being a contrarian. He likes to go against the crowd in a high-profile way. Is his waning interest in Bitcoin at a time when huge amounts of institutional investment from major Wall Street banks is pouring in, part of this?” asks Mr Green.
With the fundamentals of Bitcoin – the very ones that are attracting enormous institutional and retail interest remaining unchanged – many investors are likely to use this current price drop from recent all-time highs as an important buying opportunity.
Previously the deVere CEO observed that inherent traits of cryptocurrencies are ever-more attractive. “These characteristics include that they’re borderless, making them perfectly suited to a globalised world of commerce, trade, and people; that they are digital, making them an ideal match to the increasing digitalisation of our world; and that demographics are on the side of cryptocurrencies as younger people are more likely to embrace them than older generations.”
Mr Green concludes: “Clearly, Musk still believes in Bitcoin – he didn’t sell any – and I now hope he will use not just words but his immense resources to further expediate the transition to sustainable energy for crypto mining.”
Tesla to Announce Dogecoin as Bitcoin Replacement
Following the decision to stop accepting Bitcoin for vehicle payment, Tesla Inc. may announce Dogecoin as a replacement for Bitcoin.
On Wednesday, Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer, Tesla Inc, said the company is looking at cryptocurrencies that use less than 1 percent of Bitcoin’s energy for transactions.
This was two days after Musk, in a poll, asked if his over 54 million followers, want Tesla to accept Dogecoin, a meme coin he has aggressively promoted to the mainstream.
The billionaire said “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment.
“Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”
Millions of Dogecoin traders and investors have started projecting that the Doge Father will announce Dogecoin as a Bitcoin replacement going by his tweet and the poll.
Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2021
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