- Bogdan Cristel/Reuters
- PwC, the accounting firm and consultancy, announced Thursday it is accepting bitcoin payments from its clients.
- Accounting firms have shown more interest in digital coins than Wall Street banks.
PwC, the consultancy and “Big Four” accounting firm, announced Thursday that it accepted its first payment in bitcoin.
The announcement, which was reported first by The Wall Street Journal, was made by Raymund Chao, chairman of PwC Asia-Pacific.
“This decision helps illustrate how we are embracing new technology and incorporating innovative business models across our full range of services,” Chao said in a statement.
Bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, has dominated financial news cycles as more Wall Street firms dive into the nascent market for digital coins. It blew past $11,000 per coin Wednesday before falling back below $10,000.
As for PwC, this isn’t the firm’s first foray into the world of cryptocurrencies. In 2014, the company wrote a report exploring how digital coins like bitcoin could impact a wide-range of industries, including travel and gambling.
“Bitcoin as the ideal casino chip? Possibly. It provides a high level of user privacy, immediate access to funds and irreversibility – to the casino’s and player’s benefit,” the firm wrote.
Accounting firms such as PwC and rival Ernst Young have shown more interest in digital currencies than Wall Street banks. EY, for instance, joined the Bitcoin Association, a Switzerland-based bitcoin advocacy firm, in May.
“It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, smart contracts and digital currencies,” Marcel Stalder, CEO of EY Switzerland, said.
Bank CEOs have had a less favorable view of cryptocurrencies. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon famously called bitcoin a “fraud.” Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Thursday his firm is in no rush to develop a strategy on bitcoin, according to a Bloomberg News report.