Cryptocurrency accepted by more accountancy firms, boosted by blockchain tech

Capitalising on the renewed interest in cryptocurrency, mid-tier firm BKL, which has locations in both London and Cambridge, will begin using BitPay to process payments.

To avoid price volatility, customers will be invoiced with a fiat value, with the option to either pay in bitcoin or bitcoin cash. With the conversion rate frozen for 15 minutes, customers know exactly how much they are paying, rather than finding out the final total after the transaction has occurred.

Jon Wedge, financial services partner at BKL, said: “We support people and businesses that work with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, and this move has been driven by demand from our clients.

“It’s a convenient way for many of them, particularly in the fintech and technology sectors, to buy our services.”

Research conducted by showed that of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed, 2.85% had bought cryptocurrency in the past, with a large majority (78.95%) having specifically bought bitcoin. While it has not become part of everyday spending for the average UK adult, it is trending upwards—slowly, but surely.

An industry change

While BKL has announced themselves as the first mid-tier accountancy firm in the UK to accept cryptocurrency, the New York Times reported that PwC began accepting bitcoin in 2017. EY joined the Bitcoin Association that same year, and KPMG’s Kuwait branch started accepting bitcoin in late 2017 with Yallabit.

In Deloitte’s Luxembourg office, employees can now pay for their lunches using bitcoin – and PwC has announced that its Luxembourg customers will be able to pay the company in cryptocurrency as of 1 October, 2019.

As the Big Four take small steps forward in the cryptocurrency world, it is an indicator that times may be changing for the industry. In June, PwC announced their Halo tool, offering audit and assurance services for clients with cryptocurrency holdings.

While FCA’s “Final Guidance” release indicated that cryptocurrency has “no intrinsic value” and warns consumers that there are no regulatory protections for cryptoassets, the 10-year-old system has slowly gained popularity since its creation.

In 2018, Millennials led the way in cryptocurrency purchases (4.68%), with Gen X (2.77%) and baby boomers (1.58%) falling behind, according to research. However, blockchain—a keystone of cryptocurrency’s proliferation—has begun to become more common, with multiple industries, including financial institutions, instituting it into their systems.

Santander successfully introduced blockchain technology into its system in 2015, and a 2018 executive survey by PwC showed that 84% of respondents were ‘actively involved with blockchain’.

While global integration and acceptance is not commonplace yet, Sonny Singh, chief commercial officer of BitPay, believes that it might be.

“As blockchain ventures continue to proliferate there will be an increasing worldwide demand by vendors to pay invoices in bitcoin,” Singh said.

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