Grant Thornton audits more than $10 billion in cryptoassets in three months – across 40 cryptocurrencies
In a move that demonstrates its prowess auditing companies in the cryptocurrency industry, Grant Thornton LLP has announced that it audited more than $10 billion in cryptoassets during the first three months of 2019. Moreover, these audits covered 40 different cryptocurrencies across more than 100 million addresses.
Cryptocurrency companies face a growing imperative from investors and regulators to verify the existence and value of their stated assets. Grant Thornton is stepping in to help by marrying its proprietary cryptocurrency technology with its more than 90 years of audit experience and rigor.
“Cryptocurrency companies must contend with an auditing challenge that is at once simple and complex,” says Johnny Lee, national practice leader for Forensic Technology Services at Grant Thornton. “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?”
These questions can be hard to answer since the audit trail for shared ledgers is not intuitive; shared-ledger coins are designed to consummate transactions, not necessarily to lighten the load for an auditor. Establishing a point-in-time balance for a given cryptoasset can be a tremendously intricate endeavor requiring an auditor to parse and index transaction histories in a sophisticated manner.
“We’ve accomplished that at Grant Thornton,” says Markus Veith, a partner in the Audit practice at Grant Thornton and leader of the firm’s Digital Assets practice. “We’ve spent four years developing technology platforms and auditing methodologies that allow us to create point-in-time balances for cryptocurrencies – and we’ve done it with a level of accuracy that satisfies strict auditing standards. The result is that we can independently verify what a company holds in various cryptocurrencies.”
Veith is referring to Grant Thornton’s proprietary hybrid-cloud audit platform, which allows Grant Thornton to provide a variety of solutions to its cryptocurrency clients. The platform houses complete archival copies of blockchains for 40 cryptocurrencies.