Accounting, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton says it has audited over $10 billion in crypto during the first three months of 2019. The audits covered 40 different cryptocurrencies across more than 100 million addresses.
The Chicago-based firm, which is the sixth-largest US accounting and advisory organization, facilitates cryptocurrency companies and investors facing increasing pressure from regulators by independently verifying the existence and value of their stated assets.
Says Johnny Lee, national practice leader for forensic technology services at Grant Thornton,
“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 company works with complete archival copies of blockchains for 40 cryptocurrencies.
Partial list of audited blockchains
- Bitcoin Cash
- All ERC20-compliant tokens
Says Markus Veith, partner-in-charge of Grant Thornton’s Northeast financial institutions practice and an SEC, IFRS and blockchain technology specialist,
“You cannot just go and look at some other company’s records to see that cryptocurrencies or other digital assets exist. You cannot really confirm them with the owner. So we’ve had to come up with a methodology through which we could get comfortable with the existence and ownership of these digital assets.”
The company says it has developed proprietary methods for testing the ownership and existence of each of these currencies and uses what it calls proprietary forensic nodes for certain currencies like Ethereum, Ethereum tokens, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
You can listen to a discussion about blockchain auditing below.