KPMG gains initial exposure to Bitcoin and Ether

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  • KPMG Canada has allocated an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin and Ether to its corporate balance sheet.
  • The company plans to make more inroads into crypto assets in the future.

KPMG in Canada disclosed yesterday that it has added crypto assets Bitcoin and Ether onto its balance sheet. The firm revealed that it employed the services of Gemini Trust Company’s crypto custody and execution in updating its corporate treasury. It, however, did not divulge how much of either asset it had purchased.

In addition to the ETH and BTC acquired, the audit, tax, and advisory service provider also said it bought carbon offsets to retain a net-zero carbon transaction. Such is important as this conforms to the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) mandate.

Managing partner for advisory services at KPMG in Canada Benjie Thomas said the firm believes crypto is a “maturing asset.” Thomas explained that acquiring the two largest digital assets by market cap accentuates the firm’s belief in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

The purchase received the green light from relevant parties

The Canadian operation of the multinational auditor created a governance committee that approved the treasury allocation. The committee, consisting of finance, audit, tax, risk management, and advisory specialists, performed diligent analysis/ evaluation on custodial, regulatory, and reputational risks. KPMG professionals also assessed the decision on tax and accounting grounds.

The firm told Bloomberg via email that having successfully added Bitcoin to its balance sheet, it learnt a lot that could come in handy in managing current and future clientele.

“Having gone through this process ourselves now, we’re confident we can guide clients and prospective clients through the process of crypto-asset treasury allocation. Our investment allows us to share our journey, our experiences, our challenges with them so that we can help them navigate the crypto asset world.” 

Institutional investors should give thought to crypto

Cryptoassets and blockchain services co-leader for KPMG Canada Kareem Sadek noted that the crypto industry is still burgeoning, and it’s one that institutional investors and financial bodies need to consider. Sadek added that the company intends to increase exposure to other assets around crypto.

“We’ve invested in a strong crypto-assets practice and we will continue to enhance and build on our capabilities across Decentralised Finance (DeFi), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse, to name a few. We expect to see a lot of growth in these areas in the years to come.”

This is the first time that KPMG has gained direct exposure to Bitcoin. Also, KPMG is the first member of the Big Four accounting organisations to hold crypto assets. The other three firms (yet to join the space) are Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

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