The Canadian operations of Big Four Klynveld auditor Peat Marwick Goerdeler, or KPMG, may have a role to play in institutions entering the crypto space, according to two team members.
Speaking to TAUT at the Collision conference in Toronto on Tuesday, Kareem Sadek and Kunal Bhasin of KPMG Canada’s Crypto Assets and Blockchain Services team said the company has added Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) on his balance sheet to show others that he “had his skin in the game. According to Sadek, owning digital assets was just the first step to deepening the crypto space.
“We thought it was best to go through the journey ourselves – showing the community that we are part of it, we support the community,” Bhasin said. “We also support the institutionalization of space.”
Sadek added that the company’s foray into the crypto space was not a “fluke” based on price drops, but rather a governance board doing the research and moving forward. Despite the current bear market, Bhasin said there is room for the space to mature, with many institutions likely to come in the future with a better understanding.
According to the pair, KPMG’s crypto team had seen “a lot of momentum” around asset tokenization in the real estate market and beyond, but also considered the potential growth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse:
“[The Metaverse] is still in its infancy – companies are still exploring. But it’s something they’ll continue to explore and delve into once the space is ready.
The KPMG team added that regulators could shift their attention to institutions if adoption grows, providing a framework for firms to exercise “due diligence” on investors. According to Sadek, Canadian regulators had provided a supportive environment for the company to explore in crypto, adding that KPMG launched a survey in 2022 aimed at measuring growth in the space.
Related: KPMG in Canada adds BTC and ETH to its treasury
In 2021, Canadian officials launched regulatory actions against crypto exchanges Poloniex and OKex and warned the companies not to advertise “playstyle” promotions. However, the country was also home to the first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, which was launched by Purpose in February.
“Bear market or not, institutions keep asking themselves these questions [on NFTs, the etaverse, Web3, and crypto]”, Bhasin said. “They keep exploring.”