PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), one of the world’s largest accounting firms, has accepted its first ever bitcoin payment for its advisory services.
An ever-growing embrace of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology among its clients has seen PwC accept bitcoin as a payment in Hong Kong. According to a Wall Street Journal report, PwC in Hong Kong revealed it is working with a number of startups involved in bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency industry, prompting the firm to accept the world’s most widely-known cryptocurrency. Notably, PwC also confirmed its advent into advising clients about crypto funds and investments, cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings – a radical new form of fundraising powered by cryptocurrencies.
“This decision helps illustrate how we are embracing new technology and incorporating innovative business models across our full range of services,” said PwC Asia-Pacific chairman Raymund Chao.
It is also an indication that bitcoin and other established cryptocurrencies have now developed into more broadly accepted forms of settlement.
PwC is the second ‘big four’ accounting firm to accept bitcoin as payments for its services. Ernst & Young (EY) in Switzerland became the first firm of its kind to accept bitcoin for both auditing and advisory services since the turn of 2017. EY also installed a Bitcoin ATM among its offices late last year, providing its employees with a digital bitcoin wallet within its in-house EY wallet app. Accepting bitcoin, EY said in late 2016, was essential for EY’s strategy of “digitizing itself”.
Institutional adoption of bitcoin as a currency is slowly catching on, not quite as quickly as financial institutions’ embrace of the cryptocurrency as a financial instrument.
In a fortnight, CME Group – the world’s largest exchange owner – will launch its bitcoin futures contracts product, signaling a growing trend within Wall Street that is now warming to bitcoin. As reported yesterday, New York-based Nasdaq – the world’s second-largest stock exchange after the NYSE – is also planning to launch its bitcoin futures product in the first half of 2018.