FASB accounting changes for cryptocurrency will also change accounting

An increasing number of companies worldwide are using bitcoin and other digital assets for a host of investment, operational, and transactional purposes. Initial practices are following standards for intangible asset classification, but it’s important that CMAs keep an eye on accounting for cryptocurrency, as it’s a fast-moving arena where things are subject to change. If, as part of an arm’s length transaction, you transferred virtual currency to someone and received other property in exchange, your basis in that property is its fair market value at the time of the exchange. For more information on basis, see Publication 551, Basis of Assets. Adaptable Subledger Use only Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, or another module as your accounting subledger. Enable Financial Consolidation Instantly centralize your multi-entity, multi-currency accounting with SoftLedger’s financial consolidation software.

  • Traditional treasury groups maintain the financing relationships for the company (e.g., banking groups, investment partners, third-party working capital providers).
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  • Because there is no accounting standard on how to account for cryptocurrency, accountants are forced to turn to existing standards.
  • These issues are the primary reasons that so many are requesting the FASB to issue new standards specific to cryptocurrency and other digital assets.
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  • Advocates also see a place for blockchain technology in other government operations.
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  • A common question related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is how they should be accounted for under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP).
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  • Aside from the events mentioned above, your company’s cryptocurrency operations should be tax-free.
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Nakamoto laid the groundwork for Bitcoin and blockchain in 2008, with a white paper laying out the theory and practice behind the world’s first cryptocurrency. In 2014, Bitcoin developers made changes to the blockchain protocols. Users run powerful computers that solve a complex computing puzzle that verifies a blockchain transaction. Bitcoin “miners” and others are rewarded with a percentage of a Bitcoin for every puzzle solved. The high energy use of Bitcoin mining is an environmental concern, and some cryptocurrencies have been developed that use less electricity.

The DeFi lender has made its GitHub repository a destination for data about the platform, all of which can be independently verified on-chain. On it, we can track every single Yearn transaction in real time, get transaction records and search protocol income, protocol expenses, income statements, end of month balances and more. We can see revenue projections, charts, tables, and other useful data. In the future some mix of verifiable on-chain raw data, data analysis tools, and verifiable information curated by individual projects like Yearn will replace the quarterly statements and other financial paperwork of today. The set of generally accepted accounting standards is a collection of widely-used accounting regulations and standards for financial reporting. In reality, most public firms would find it easier to comply with cryptocurrency reporting than with GAAP.

They receive the same tax treatment as similar capital gains and losses, with tax liabilities in a given year applied to the proceeds from a sale. When it comes to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles there are no hard and fast rules around crypto assets. These assets are classified as intangible assets, but certain central bank digital currencies and some stablecoins won’t be accounted for that way.

Will there be occasions when your financial statements and reporting for tax purposes don’t align?

Assuming you use cash to pay for these activities, you’ll credit the cash account and debit either an asset—if you’re buying mining equipment that must be capitalized and subsequently amortized—or an expense for things like utilities and supplies. Even if the market value later increased to $600,000, you aren’t allowed to reverse the loss or increase its value on the balance sheet. If your business buys $500,000 worth of Bitcoin, then its fair value drops to $400,000, you’d have to recognize a $100,000 loss and reduce your Bitcoin holdings to reflect the decrease in value. Cryptocurrencies are impaired whenever the price dips below the cost basis, and because of their aforementioned volatility, this happens quite often. In the first quarter of 2021, Tesla added $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin to its balance sheet. In the second quarter of 2021, Microstrategy added nearly $500 million of additional Bitcoin holdings.

As your cryptocurrency accounting grows larger, the issues you face with your crypto investments become increasingly complicated. Assuming your firm acquired the digital money using fiat money, you would credit the same amount to your cash account. A company called MicroStrategy Incorporated has 70K Bitcoins on their balance sheet. If your firm purchases $600,000 worth of Bitcoin and the fair value drops to $400,000, you’ll have to recognize a $200,000 loss and decrease your Bitcoin holdings to reflect the drop in value. Digital assets, unlike cash or a cash equivalent, are subject to wild fluctuations in value on a regular basis. Bloomberg interviewed Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Weiner for an article about audits of digital currency companies.

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These are people who are ready and willing to invest in the world of cryptocurrency. To keep their business, you’ll want to be a trusted partner who can guide them to make good investment decisions. Because crypto trading has become common, even among average investors, every accountant needs to know how these transactions affect individual and corporate taxes. The signature of the donee on Form 8283 does not represent concurrence in the appraised value of the contributed property.

TurboTax and TaxBit Team Up to Make Filing Crypto Taxes Easy

The Master of Accountancy online program offers practitioner and fundamentals tracks. Coursework is done online, which lets busy professionals earn their degree without disrupting their work or personal lives. Unlike stocks, digital currencies aren’t hit by the wash-sale rule — a major opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. The board’s decision is “tentative” at this stage, and could be changed at future board meetings when they continue to weigh their options.


About GAAPology


This article aims to give you a better idea of the current state of cryptocurrency accounting and how we got here. Because there is no accounting standard on how to account for cryptocurrency, accountants are forced to turn to existing standards. While not yet official guidance, this recommendation signals how the Board expects to address cryptocurrency accounting and follows an announcement in May 2022 that crypto will be a subject of focus going forward. The Board added a project to its technical agenda to improve the accounting for and disclosure of certain crypto assets.