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Bitcoin the financial reporting challenge for investors

Steve Cooper argues that the accounting for cryptocurrencies is not helping investors and that it is time for standard-setters to act.

Whether you view Bitcoin as a modern-day tulip bulb mania bubble or an unstoppable developmentBitcoin in finance, one thing is certain – there is an increasing tendency for these assets to be held beyond just specialist funds or cryptocurrency ‘miners’.

US business intelligence company MicroStrategy owns digital assets reported at $1.1bn in its balance sheet at 31 December 2020. Then a subsequent earnings release announced that the market value of its holdings was $2.3bn at 27 January 2021. The company’s commitment to the asset is such that it says Bitcoin is now its “primary treasury reserve” and that it intends to “invest additional excess cash flows in Bitcoin”.