In June 2023, Deloitte, a leading audit firm, released a groundbreaking research report on the use of cryptocurrency in business. The research highlighted the benefits of adopting digital currencies by businesses and its possible impact on different business operations. This article takes into the report’s insightful details, examining the benefits, factors to consider, and opportunities businesses may take advantage of by including cryptocurrency in their operations.
The research emphasizes how the adoption of cryptocurrency in business could penetrate previously unreachable demographic groups. Crypto is commonly used by tech-savvy people who have extra money to spend on upscale products and services. Businesses can gain access to this new consumer base and gain a competitive edge in the market by accepting payments in crypto. Furthermore, embracing cryptocurrency early on helps increase internal understanding and readiness for potential future use as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) gain traction.
Enhanced Treasury Activities and Capital Management
Treasury operations represent one of the most significant advantages of adopting cryptocurrency in business. Cryptocurrency provides a method for quick, secure, and immediate money transactions, enhancing capital management, and controlling the risks and opportunities related to digital investments. Transparency brought about by crypto transactions improves the back-end balance and gives a clear picture of how money moves within the business.
Hedge against Inflation and Investment Opportunities
Cryptocurrencies have shown to be attractive alternatives to traditional cash holdings as they can act as an effective hedge against inflation due to their unique features. The limited supply of many cryptocurrencies ensures that they cannot be subject to arbitrary printing or issuance, unlike fiat currencies. This scarcity leads to increased demand and potential appreciation during inflationary periods.
Moreover, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies means that they operate without central authority. As a result, they are less susceptible to inflationary policies or economic turbulence caused by central banks. This independence offers investors a level of confidence in preserving the value of their wealth during inflationary times.
Accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment enables businesses to offer faster and cheaper cross-border transactions compared to traditional payment methods. This can attract tech-savvy customers and position businesses as forward-thinking and customer-centric.
Multiple Ways for Businesses to Adopt Cryptocurrencies
According to Deloitte’s research, there are two main ways for businesses to integrate cryptocurrency into their workflows. The first choice provides a more simple solution for those with a basic understanding by enabling crypto payments through third-party suppliers or custodians. Self-custody, on the other hand, is a more active technique in which the business controls its private keys. The second strategy offers more security and control but might require more crypto experience.
Important Pointers for Incorporating Cryptocurrency in Business
With the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies in business operations, companies must recognize that alongside the potential rewards, there are also challenges and responsibilities they need to address. The report highlights several critical considerations for companies using cryptocurrencies:
- Adhering to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) Regulations: Cryptocurrencies have gained attention from regulators due to their pseudonymous nature, which can attract illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing. To mitigate these risks, businesses must implement robust AML and KYC procedures. This involves verifying the identities of customers and conducting due diligence on their transactions to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and prevent illegal activities
- Understanding Second-Layer Protocol Risks: While the blockchain technology underlying cryptocurrencies is generally secure, some cryptocurrencies utilize second-layer protocols, such as smart contracts and decentralized applications. Companies need to understand the risks associated with these additional layers, as vulnerabilities or bugs in smart contracts, for example, could lead to financial losses or breaches in security. Thorough code audits and security assessments are essential before integrating any second-layer protocols into their operations.
- Navigating Tax and Accounting Treatments for Crypto Payments and Expenditures: The use of cryptocurrencies in business transactions can have implications for tax and accounting purposes. Cryptocurrency transactions may be subject to capital gains tax or treated as ordinary income, depending on the jurisdiction. Companies must ensure that they accurately account for cryptocurrency holdings, transactions, and valuations to comply with tax regulations and financial reporting standards.
- Addressing Payroll Implications: If companies choose to pay employees in cryptocurrencies or offer cryptocurrency-based incentives, they must consider the legal and regulatory aspects of such arrangements. Payroll in cryptocurrencies can present challenges in terms of payroll tax calculations, reporting, and compliance with labor laws. Businesses must work closely with legal and financial advisors to ensure that payroll practices involving cryptocurrencies align with local regulations.
- Security and Custody Measures: Cryptocurrencies are digital assets, and their security is paramount. Companies must implement robust security measures to protect their cryptocurrency holdings from theft, hacking, or unauthorized access. Utilizing secure wallets, cold storage solutions, and multi-factor authentication are some of the practices businesses should adopt to safeguard their cryptocurrency assets.
- Volatility and Risk Management: Cryptocurrencies are known for their price volatility, which can expose companies to significant financial risks. Businesses must carefully consider the impact of market fluctuations on their financial positions and develop risk management strategies to mitigate potential losses.
- Customer Education and Support: For businesses that accept cryptocurrencies as payment, providing proper education and support to customers is crucial. Many consumers may be unfamiliar with using cryptocurrencies for transactions, so offering clear instructions and assistance can enhance the overall customer experience and increase confidence in using this payment method.
To successfully integrate cryptocurrencies, companies should develop a well-defined implementation roadmap. This roadmap should encompass the company’s overall strategy, short- and long-term objectives, involvement of internal and external partners, security measures, and resource requirements. A pilot program can help companies better understand potential opportunities and challenges before broader adoption.
Furthermore, strong leadership and engagement from various departments are essential to guide the company through this transformative process.
Deloitte’s research on the use of cryptocurrency in business underscores a paradigm shift taking place in the corporate landscape. The benefits of adopting cryptocurrencies range from accessing new customer segments and enhancing treasury activities to hedging against inflation and exploring new investment opportunities.
However, companies must tread carefully, addressing the associated considerations and risks while formulating a clear strategy for their crypto integration.
People who strategically adopt cryptocurrencies are well-positioned to thrive in the future digital economy as the corporate sector continues to change. Businesses may start pursuing a transforming path to success by staying informed, educated, active, and embracing the limitless opportunities that cryptocurrencies offer.