In Brief

EY invests in crypto-currency software

In another sign that that financial world is taking Bitcoin seriously, EY has bought CAAT from start-up Elevated Consciousness

The British accountancy firm EY has acquired software developed by a Silicon Valley start-up to manage investments in crypto-currencies – another sign of just how seriously the financial mainstream now takes Bitcoin and its rivals.

CAAT, which stands for Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax, was bought from Elevated Consciousness by EY’s Americas Tax Innovation Foundry.

“I look forward to all the opportunities in tax and accounting that this technology will afford our clients and professionals in such a dynamic and exciting market,” said Foundry leader Chirag Patel.

Michael Meisler, a partner at EY, added: “CAAT will allow us to help clients investing in crypto-assets, both in the fund space and beyond.”

Over the past year, crypto-currencies have been moving from the fringe to the mainstream of financial transactions. Last November, one of the other Big Four accountancy firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, announced it would accept payments from clients in Bitcoin, Business Insider reported.

It’s not just accountants who are embracing the new technology. Banks too “are now entering the market in force”, writes investor and commentator Jim Greco on Medium. At a recent cryptocurrency conference, Consensus 2018, “every Wall Street bank was in attendance”, he says.

Crypto-currencies have not delivered the utopian vision of their libertarian founders, Greco says, but they turned out to be perfect for hedge funds and traders: “infinitely replicable, untethered to real-world companies or assets [and] extremely volatile.”

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