Risks of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin must be better understood by accountancy profession, says ACCA

Accountants need to be aware and understand the risks associated with cryptocurrencies

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has today issued a new warning to professional accountants over the importance of maintaining an up-to-date understanding of developments in the fast-moving space of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Maggie McGhee, director of Professional Insights at ACCA says: 

‘Bitcoin has at least three dimensions that are causes for concern. Firstly, its pseudonymous nature means that while one may identify the address a given payment goes to, it is not possible to confirm the identity of the underlying beneficiary. 

‘This is an obvious risk for money laundering, terrorist financing and the funding of other types of illegal activities.  Secondly, its high volatility makes it inherently risky and unstable. Thirdly, it is funding a speculative bubble in other areas like Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) with speculators chasing poorly formed business propositions.

‘It is important, however, to avoid blaming the house for the fault of the people living in it. The underlying blockchain (distributed ledger) technology behind Bitcoin could revolutionise how financial transactions are done and have a positive impact on business globally. This potential must be viewed separately from the risks of Bitcoin.’

‘The global accountancy profession has an important role to play in enabling stable economies and secure societies where consumers are not exploited. As new technologies become adopted, it is vital that professional accountants develop their digital understanding alongside their ethical responsibilities to flag areas of concern.

‘In that context, ACCA supports a close relationship between regulators and the accountancy profession to ensure that a robust regulatory approach is crafted, and refined as developments emerge, so that it is fit-for-purpose in a digital age.’

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David Bowden
E: david.bowden@accaglobal.com
T: +44 (0)20 7059 5019
M: + 44 (0)7540919819

Twitter @ACCANews

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 

ACCA supports its 200,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,200 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA is currently introducing major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally. 

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The global accountancy profession has an important role to play in enabling stable economies and secure societies where consumers are not exploited. As new technologies become adopted, it is vital that professional accountants develop their digital understanding alongside their ethical responsibilities to flag areas of concern. "

Maggie McGhee, director - Professional Insights - ACCA