KPMG Canada Adds Bitcoin, Ethereum to Corporate Balance Sheet

Bob Coiney

February 8, 2022

Just recently, The Big Four auditor KPMG’s Canadian operation has officially added Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to its corporate treasury, joining other major companies in converting a portion of its fiat holdings into digital assets. Several major corporations have sought exposure to crypto over the past year in an effort to diversify their holdings and hedge against inflation. The most famous example is business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, which has adopted a full-on Bitcoin standard by converting all of its cash reserves into BTC and even raising debt to fund additional purchases.  The decision to add Bitcoin and Ether in lieu of the looming bearish season after a noticed downturn on Bitcoin and Ethereum to its balance sheet reflects KPMG Canada’s belief that cryptocurrencies would be worth the while in her establishment. 

Furthermore, As digital assets witness more institutional adoption, financial service providers have become increasingly engaged in the space. KPMG’s competitor Ernst & Young Global told MarketWatch last year that it is building technology and designing programs for some major banks and other key financial institutions to tokenize financial assets. With the gradual adoption of Digital currency globally, KPMG is sure that she hasn’t made a wrong move.

What is KPMG Canada Saying

Benjie Thomas, Canadian Managing Partner, Advisory Services, KPMG stated, “Cryptoassets are a maturing asset class. Investors such as hedge funds and family offices to large insurers and pension funds are increasingly gaining exposure to cryptoassets, and traditional financial services such as banks, financial advisors, and brokerages are exploring offering products and services involving cryptoassets. This investment reflects our belief that institutional adoption of cryptoassets and blockchain technology will continue to grow and become a regular part of the asset mix.” 

Kareem Sadek, Advisory Partner, Cryptoassets and Blockchain Services co-leader, KPMG also stated, “The cryptoasset industry continues to grow and mature and it needs to be considered by financial services and institutional investors. We’ve invested in a strong cryptoassets practice and we will continue to enhance and build on our capabilities across Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and the Metaverse, name a few. We expect to see a lot of growth in these areas in the years to come.”

What the firm didn’t Disclose

KPMG has been involved with Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) as far back as 2020 when the firm unveiled a blockchain-based Climate Accounting Infrastructure Solution, an initiative designed to assist companies in meeting their ESG targets. In addition to its newly acquired BTC and ETH holdings, KPMG in Canada said it also purchased carbon offsets as part of its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) mandate.  However, the firm has so far, not disclosed the amount invested in either Bitcoin or Ether at the time of this writing. The cryptocurrencies were purchased through Gemini Trust Company’s execution and custody services.

What KPMG has been Up to

Over time, KPMG has been providing blockchain and digital assets-related services, such as strategic realization and operations integration to its clients. 

KPMG dipped its toes in the crypto sector as far back as 2020 when the firm unveiled a blockchain-based Climate Accounting Infrastructure Solution. “KPMG believes in the long-term value of crypto assets,” Bhasin said. “They have been advising a lot of clients in terms of how they should be thinking about it. And for the first time, KPMG Canada feels good putting her skin in the game.