As part of digitalizing itself, the multinational accounting firm giant Ernst & Young will now be the first of its kind to be accepting Bitcoin payments for its services.
Starting this January 2017, Ernst & Young Switzerland clients will be able to use the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency Bitcoin as payment for the consulting and auditing services offered by the accounting firm. This was announced November 25, 2016 and has come about after a number of Swiss organizations joining the Bitcoin revolution. Further with this decision, EY aims to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a center for the digital economy including other provisions in the progress of the blockchain technology.
In addition, Ernst & Young also set up a number of Bitcoin ATMs among its offices which are open to the public and as well as to its employees. Anyone can exchange their Swiss Francs for BTC or vice versa. According to their news release, EY has designed its own Bitcoin wallets. These wallets has superior protection & security against unauthorized access within the EY systems. Employees will get their own Bitcoin wallets on their company provided smartphones to make them more familiar with the cryptocurrency and the blockchain first hand.
This move of letting EY employees embrace the cryptocurrency is for the up coming developments which will be critical for EY clients, thus employees should have a better understanding in implementing these solutions.
EY on Bitcoin & Blockchain
Ernst & Young perceive Bitcoin and the Blockchain technology as an essential part in the future of the digital economy. They decided to join some leading Swiss organizations in transforming financial services to consider Bitcoin revolution. As one of the world’s Big Four professional services networks, EY has been the biggest institution to embrace the crypto-world. Partnering with many other organizations, EY aims to provide its clients the best way in transitioning to the digital world.
EY considers the Blockchain technology as the “Right technology, at the right time”. It means that with the data and security challenges today, traditional institutional practices should be replaced with this tamper-proof distributed ledgers.
However, Ernst & Young sees challenges in reaching their goals. Although they see blockchain as a “potential-rich”, they still see it as an immature technology and too slow to scale. They do not expect a lot of Bitcoin payments for its services after the launch. Companies and individuals still prefers to use the traditional currency. At the same time, if the price of Bitcoin is expected to increase, then Bitcoin payments will be less most probably.
Nevertheless, there is still a need for Bitcoin and Blockchain startups and adopting institutions to imagine, experiment, evaluate research and development programs for the technology to succeed. As the blockchain technology is fast arising and staking claim in the financial sector, EY said it is time for companies to identify opportunities, assess risks and schedule their entries in order to take position before everything is too late.
Overall, EY benefits from having its employees understand Bitcoin and Blockchain but enabling Bitcoin payments does not provide any immediate and direct benefit to the economy, not until the future. However, when it comes to Switzerlands stance as a Bitcoin and Blockchain hub, EY is definitely a huge boost to Bitcoin adoption and digital transformation of the financial industry.