As more individuals and institutions are getting into the crypto space, the need for financial services to monitor the crypto assets have also increased. Regulations pertaining to crypto assets, with respect to a legal framework and tax supervision, are not yet completely formulated by any country, but the Big Four accounting firms are doing their bit to serve the institutions which are already in the crypto space.

According to a report by Financial Times (FT) published Monday, the Big Four — Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers — have been hiring crypto and blockchain specialists, after they brought on hundreds of new clients connected to cryptocurrencies in recent months. PwC has brought on as many as "400 blockchain experts" to serve clients and their unique needs.

Ralph Weinberger, who leads their global network assurance methodology group, told FT: "We are devoting significant resources to how we might provide audit services in not just cryptocurrency, but blockchain.”

According to the FT report, EY holds about 150 global clients involved in the digital asset sector. These include mining farms, exchanges, and traditional companies using blockchain technology. A spokesperson for EY, Jeanne Boillet, spoke about the company offering crypto auditing services: “It’s a no brainer… We have no choice than to address this because some of our clients have invested in that space.”

Among other things, accounting and auditing companies like the Big Four help their clients meet their tax obligations. Virtually any company that is into crypto and blockchain would need some guidance with regard to the tax situation. Accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment can be confusing for traditional companies that are used to conducting transactions in fiat currencies.

PwC The big four accounting firms have taken on hundreds of new clients in the crypto space, and are hiring experts to meet demand. Here, the PwC offices stand in More London Riverside in London, Oct. 2, 2018. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

KPMG is also actively involved in studying cryptocurrency and blockchain, and it also published a study focused on financial crime which includes a section dedicated to "blockchain as a solution to KYC challenges" and "money laundering and financial crime in the cryptocurrency age." Emma Hunter, director of financial crime legal practice at KPMG, United Kingdom, said: “It is definitely technology that’s pushing the boundaries and raising questions around how we actually regulate this, what regulatory frameworks that already exist will apply, and what we need to put in place to ensure that it is effectively regulated and controlled.”

KPMG also started taking in iintial coin offering clients in the middle of 2017. It mentioned on its website about its dedicated blockchain and ICO team at its Switzerland office, which has a "proven track record" advising token sales from crypto-market intelligence platforms, blockchain technology platforms, mobile payment solutions, and multicurrency wallets.

Deloitte published a comprehensive report about cryptocurrencies July 18 that read: "Although there is clearly an image problem and an accessibility issue that cryptocurrencies have to overcome, there can be no doubt that they are here to stay." The report prepared by the "Deloitte Malta thought leadership" also acknowledged that "technology giants and major banks" are investing heavily in blockchain technology, and the race is on to "create blockchain-based products for banks as well." 

With more companies seeking the help of these firms, it becomes a necessity for them to study more about blockchain and cryptocurrency because they cannot rely on the government regulators to formulate the basic framework. PwC seems to desperately want to lead the way, with an entire subsection of their website dedicated to it, where they explain that they’re ready to help.

"Our global team of experienced business, technology and regulatory leaders can help you identify how blockchain can benefit your organization and how to rapidly move these initiatives forward,” it says.