Cryptocurrencies – Speed Up or Get Out of the Way

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By: Craig Armstrong, CPA – Miami Office Managing Partner

With the advances in technology and access to information, many expect our collective knowledge to soon be doubling every twelve hours.  While this trajectory may very well be a free-spirited path to convenience and rapidly developed wealth (as appears to be the case with cryptocurrencies), financial institutions and related industries are finding themselves challenged to keep pace with the underlying needs of consumers.  Whether it is navigating the complex rules of the existing regulatory environments, or simply providing stable and secure platforms for consumers to manage their financial affairs, professionals are finding themselves at the confluence of widely accepted economic principals and the global appetite for the next generation of transacting in the world.  And cryptocurrencies may very well be the fulcrum that moves accounting and finance off its centerline.  So, for CPAs and professionals alike, it is time to either Speed Up or Get Out of the Way!!

While the extreme volatility of the cryptocurrency market tends to dominate the proverbial water-cooler discussion, the functional elements of blockchain technology, trustless systems and distributed ledgers continue to gain momentum as practical and reliable business solutions.  Transactional issues relating to fiat currencies might be mitigated with the use of digital currency technologies, particularly when transactions are cross-border and time sensitive.  The demand for decentralized finance remains strong and, as information becomes more digestible for those on the fringes of the crypto environment, we can expect attainable solutions to become more broadly available to the general business public. 

So, as businesses continue to develop their business plans and succession strategies for the foreseeable future, executive management might want to consider asking the following questions:

  • In what ways will the cryptocurrency environment affect our business?
  • How will customer payment platforms that incorporate digital currencies impact our ability to increase and/or retain customers?
  • In what ways will cryptocurrencies impact employee benefit plans? For example, will employees have an increasing demand for crypto investment options in company sponsored pension plans, or deferred compensation plans?
  • In what way will holding cryptocurrencies as custodian impact the company’s audited financial statements?

These questions are clearly not intended to be all encompassing, but merely to serve as thought provoking considerations that will stimulate conversation between traditional and progressive ideologies that are becoming increasingly intertwined.  Afterall, isn’t change the only constant?      

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