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Blockchain, cryptocurrency challenge accounting models

Defining Issues | July 2018

Blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrency and their potential effects on accounting, internal controls, and business processes.


  • Companies using blockchain technologies or considering using them, including digital assets such as cryptocurrency

Relevant dates

  • Effective immediately.

Key Impacts:

  • Blockchain is a distributed ledger that keeps a record of transactions across a network that decentralizes their tracking and validation
  • Blockchain was originally invented to support bitcoin, which is now one of many cryptocurrencies
  • Future blockchain uses may be very different, but consensus-driven distributed ledgers offer the potential for more streamlined information systems in many areas
  • Many experts believe that blockchain has the potential to challenge the role of traditional intermediaries, such as banks, brokerages and insurers, that validate the authenticity and accuracy of transactions
  • The accounting for digital assets is an emerging area, and so far neither the FASB nor the IASB have provided specific accounting guidance. As the technology continues to evolve, it may not be clear how to apply accounting requirements to these transactions

Report Contents

  • Key facts and impacts
  • How are companies using this technology?
  • Blockchain’s potential effects
  • Accounting for digital assets
  • Governance and internal control considerations
  • Regulatory considerations

Download the document:

Blockchain and digital currencies challenge traditional models

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