With the blockchain and crypto spaces growing significantly, professional auditors have begun to tout their roles in stabilizing the industries. In an interview with industry news source Cointelegraph, Henri Arslanian, the global crypto leader at auditing giant Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), has promoted the role of auditors development of the global crypto space.
Auditors’ Much-Coveted Seal of Approval
As he explains, the original build of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin ensured that people and companies could transact over a trustless medium. However, development can’t happen via trustless operations, because people will need to have a level of faith in blockchain to use it.
Using himself as an example, Arslanian explained that the crypto space was still in infancy when he joined PwC in 2017. Since then, however, the firm alone has built 20 “crypto teams,” conducting over 350 crypto engagements across the past 18 months. He explained that while these teams focus on tax and accounting services, their auditing expertise also has a high 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.”
Cointelegraph’s report went on to show the impact that auditing firms – especially the Big Four (KMPG, PwC, EY, and Deloitte) – can have on the space. Hugh Madden, the chief executive of digital asset and Fintech company BC Group, explained that crypto companies would need effective auditing to show that they are operating transparently.
“As the business of digital assets continues to grow and mature, and compliance and regulatory standards become more robust, auditors will continue to play a pivotal role,” he clarified.
Showing Blockchain’s Effectiveness and Regulatory Compliance
Eric Braun, the blockchain audit leader at KPMG’s United States branch, added that companies would need to ensure that their blockchain systems can meet up with regulators’ accounting standards. By ensuring that blockchain systems can achieve their objectives in a structured and regulated environment, auditors can drive development and ensure that it realizes its benefits.
The motive appears solid, of course. Blockchain has managed to infiltrate just about every aspect of human and organizational life. While cryptocurrencies haven’t gotten as much adoption, an increasing number of companies are adopting blockchain – and, in some cases, digital assets – for various purposes.
Banks and other commercial institutions haven’t been left out as well. Several institutions have adopted blockchain for several purposes, including credit, trade, and loan applications. Last week, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority allowed Zurich-based InCore Bank to conduct digital asset transactions. The move will primarily enable crypto-holding customers from across the world to access and transact with the firm.
Auditors will be instrumental in showing how these blockchains and cryptosystems can achieve their goals, while Assuring regulators of their compliance. With more successful programs, regulators and the general public will feel freer to hold digital assets in their portfolios.