What’s Behind the KPMG Bitcoin & Ethereum Hype?
The cryptoverse is hyped about the news that full-service Audit, Tax, and Advisory firm KPMG in Canada added the top two cryptoassets to its treasury. However, while the news is important for the space, it might help to keep in mind that the company in question is an independent KPMG affiliate, and the size of the investment has not been disclosed.
“The allocation includes Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), as well as carbon offsets to maintain a net-zero carbon transaction to deliver on the firm’s stated environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments,” the KPMG affiliate said on Monday.
The firm added that they used Gemini Trust Company LLC‘s execution and custody services.
They also established a governance committee that included stakeholders from Finance, Risk Management, Advisory, Audit, and Tax, in order to provide oversight and approve this treasury allocation.
The announcement further noted that this is “a first-of-its-kind investment” for KPMG in Canada, and that it reflects the company’s commitment to the maturing emerging technologies and asset classes, including cryptoassets and blockchain technology, which they find will “become a regular part of the asset mix.”
“Given that we’re a private company we cannot disclose the amount or the allocation breakdown. However, what we can say is that we are taking a prudent approach to investing in cryptoassets, and we will continue to do so in the future,” a spokesperson for the firm told Cryptonews.com, adding that they considered only BTC and ETH for this investment.
According to the spokesperson, this is one of the many initiatives in the cryptoasset space that they are looking at and they will “consider other innovative investment opportunities in the future.”
The spokesperson also noted that the firm has enhanced its strategy capabilities and educational workshops to include discussions of the metaverse and NFTs, as well as decentralized autonomous arganizations (DAOs) and GameFi.
KPMG LLP is established under the laws of Ontario, Canada. It is a member of KPMG’s global organization of independent member firms affiliated with the major accounting firm KPMG International: “Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.”
Despite this being an affiliate of KPMG International, a number of commenters within the crypto space have described the move as “a very big deal,” arguing that an increasing number of global and often conservative firms are adding crypto to their list of assets on annual reports.
Others are opining that a large company – or in this case, its affiliate – may lead others to follow suit. “So KPMG, one of the ‘big three’ global accounting firms, has Bitcoin on its balance sheet now & people still think it won’t catch on as part of corporate reserves,” said Alistair Milne, the chief investment officer at the Altana Digital Currency Fund.
One of the Big 4 Accounting Firms (KPMG) adding bitcoin to its balance sheet is huge signal. I'd expect the others to follow suit (PwC, E&Y, Deloitte). The game theory almost makes it fait accompli.#bitcoin— Neil Jacobs (@NeilJacobs) February 7, 2022
Auditors are traditionally known as being among the most conservative organizations given the nature of their roles.— Kelvin Koh (@SpartanBlack_1) February 8, 2022
The fact that a Big 4 has now allocated part of its treasury to crypto says a lot and is a harbinger of things to come, especially for financial institutions. https://t.co/sBJURchamg
Additionally, some argued that, regardless of its size, KPMG’s investment in crypto is bigger news than Tesla buying BTC. But again – it wasn’t KPMG who made the investment, but one company under that umbrella.
KPMG adding #Bitcoin and #Ethereum is bigger news than #Tesla adding #BTC , no matter the relative size of allocation.— Grant Melson, CFA (@grant_melson) February 7, 2022
KPMG is a BIG FOUR ACCOUNTING FIRM!! People go to them for advice on exactly this kind of stuff. Tax, accounting, consulting..
It’s kpmg Canada… which is news but maybe not as big as just blanket “kpmg”— Risk (33.3%) (@Downside__Risk) February 7, 2022
Cryptonews.com has contacted both KPMG in Canada and KPMG International for comment.
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(Updated at 13:02 UTC with comments from KPMG in Canada.)