Blockchain technology and digital asset investment have been a hot topic in many financial markets, as more and more financial firms delve into the blockchain-digital asset investment arena, mainly due to emerging regulations and a rise in global demand. It was recently revealed that the global accounting and advisory firm, Ernst & Young, has completed the acquisition of Elevated Consciousness Inc., a Silicon Valley based Cryptocurrency investment start-up Company.
The above-mentioned acquisition will have huge implications for Ernst & Young’s entry into the cryptocurrency world. It will give the company exclusive access to the crypto-market Accounting and Tax software (CAAT), allowing it to monitor records of global trading transaction history, covering multiple exchanges and wallets for revenue reporting. In effect the CAAT is an eye in the sky for crypto watchers. By aggregating the activity on a myriad of exchanges, it presents a detailed picture of what’s going on in the markets. The tool is well suited to an environment as known for its volatility as crypto.
The acquisition represents another move by Ernst & Young’s innovation driven group to establish a secure foothold in the growing blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
Global Vice Chairman of Tax Services, Kate Barton, is apprehensive about the acquisition, commenting, “Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are transformational forces with a strong potential to fundamentally change the way business is done. CAAT positions us as a leader in serving a variety of companies adopting crypto-assets in an evolving regulatory environment.”
The Companies in Question
Regarded as one of the largest professional services on the global stage, Ernst & Young was formed in 1989, a result of the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Arthur Young & Co. headquartered in London; Ernst & Young operates as a network of member firms, represented as separate legal entities in the countries they operate. Assurance, financial auditing, tax consultation, and advisory services are just a few of the services offered by the firm. Over the years, the company has earned itself a host of awards.
Elevated Consciousness is a San Francisco based Crypto-Technology Start-up, formed and headed by CEO VJ Anma, an ex-crypto-fund manager. CAAT, the company’s software, focuses primarily on integrating investment management functions, a necessary asset to have in this dramatically shifting industry environment.
This latest acquisition by Ernst & Young is part of a bigger shift of focus in the industry, as other major financial firms like Goldman Sachs are also expanding their cryptocurrency investment offerings with a custodial solution, allowing Goldman Sachs to hold cryptocurrencies in lieu of funds, providing a much-needed safeguard against the imminent threat of hacking and data breaches.
Several major financial firms have grown receptive to the digital currency and blockchain phenomenon, recognizing their potential to disrupt a number of industries worldwide. This is also not Ernst & Young’s first blockchain venture, as the company’s Switzerland branch has been accepting Bitcoin payments for its services. The firm has also installed a Bitcoin ATM, exclusively for employees and passers-by.
If an accounting firm as large as EY (one of the “big four”) is this bullish on crypto, other major players can’t be far behind.