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PODCAST: As cryptocurrency use picks up CPAs will need to grow know-how

Written on Aug 5, 2021

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager  

Man in suit smiling for camera.Handling clients who have used cryptocurrency is still a new area for many CPAs, says one crypto expert. 

“I'm getting questions now from my external clients that are not crypto native companies asking ‘How do I start using crypto for payments? How do I integrate blockchain into my operations?’” said Sean Stein Smith, CPA, assistant professor at Lehman College.  

Smith joined The State of Business podcast this week to discuss how blockchain and cryptocurrency are impacting financial institutions, a topic he’ll present at the Aug. 25 Financial Institutions Conference.  

The interest in cryptocurrency continues to grow, Smith said, and while in certain areas of the country blockchain and crypto aren’t in the news regularly these new currencies are still becoming a bigger part of the economic landscape.  

“There has been so much attention paid to Bitcoin and other crypto from an income tax angle during the back half of 2020 in the first half of 2021, that the pivot now has really been towards trying to get a handle on the tax obligations,” Smith said.  

He said it’s exciting to see large financial institutions offer more crypto-related products and services to their external clients.  

“There are going to be plenty of firms trade groups, advocate, trying to push FASB to add crypto-specific accounting to their list of tasks,” he said. “So, I would hope that happens.”  

There will most likely be more countries who will accept Bitcoin or some other crypto asset as a currency alternative by the end of the year, along with certain companies in the U.S. allowing individuals and firms to be paid in cryptocurrency.  

“Now that there's institutional interest, commercial interest, how do we get this to work as a real payment option?” Smith said. “I would say that's going to be the main headline here in the U.S. towards the end of 2021.” 

To hear more from Sean Stein Smith and other excellent speakers, register now for the Financial Institutions Virtual Conference.  

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