Banking Management & legal News

Grant Thornton audits $10 billion of crypto assets

cryptocurrency audit

Yesterday Grant Thornton announced it has audited over $10 billion worth of cryptocurrencies. The impressive sum occurred only in the first three months of 2019 and across 40 different blockchain-based digital currencies.

As cryptocurrencies are no longer a niche investment, there has been a call for regulation or at least verification of the value and owner of the assets. Many will recall the saga earlier this year in which the CEO of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX died, and funds have been hard to trace.

Johnny Lee, Grant Thornton’s national practice leader for Forensic Technology Services, commented: “Cryptocurrency companies must contend with an auditing challenge that is at once simple and complex. First, can you prove that you own and control the assets you are claiming as yours? And, second, do those assets really exist – and can you prove as much?”

The audit and advisory giant has developed a scalable hybrid-cloud platform specifically for auditing digital currencies.

The platform stores copies of 40 blockchains, including those of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, ERC20 tokens, Ethereum, Ripple and Tezos. With these extensive archives, the firm can verify the existence and ownership of billions of dollars in cryptocurrency.

“We’ve spent four years developing technology platforms and auditing methodologies that allow us to create point-in-time balances for cryptocurrencies – and we’ve done it with a level of accuracy that satisfies strict auditing standards,” said Markus Veith, a leader of Grant Thornton’s Digital Assets practice.

“The result is that we can independently verify what a company holds in various cryptocurrencies,” he continued.

Indeed, yesterday’s release claims the firm was able to audit the $10 billion in digital currency from over 100 million addresses thanks to the platform’s efficiency and accuracy. With its own cloud-stored copies of blockchains, Grant Thornton can check transactions at a much higher speed than tools such as online blockchain explorers.

The firm’s announcement comes a month after competitor PwC launched their own cryptocurrency auditing software. PwC’s effort works with fewer currencies, but the firm does offer advisory services for companies owning such assets. Before that, EY released the EY Blockchain Analyzer, a more broad set of tools for auditing firms with digital assets.


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