School of Business
Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, classification
Foy, Jonathan, "Financial Accounting Classification of Cryptocurrency" (2019). Senior Honors Theses. 858.
Currently, a large range of opinions exists regarding the appropriate classification and regulation of cryptocurrency. From the legal perspective, some suggest that cryptocurrency investments are too speculative. As a result of this, it is suggested that cryptocurrency should be more heavily regulated. This would be done to prevent speculators from losing vast wealth. Other legal analysts suggest that an increasing cryptocurrency regulation would have a detrimental effect on the state of cryptocurrency, and its use would cause long-term problems. From the accounting perspective, opinions vary. Some suggest an accounting classification that would make cryptocurrency cash equivalents; others suggest an accounting classification that would render cryptocurrency an intangible asset with an indefinite useful life. The “big 4” accounting firms that include Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst and Young, and KPMG recommend that cryptocurrency should be classified as an intangible asset with an indefinite useful life. However, other companies currently using cryptocurrency through the general operations of the business have decided to classify it differently. The legal perspectives and the accounting perspectives will be analyzed to determine appropriate regulations for cryptocurrency and an appropriate classification for cryptocurrency. The results will show that cryptocurrency should be classified as an intangible asset with an indefinite useful life for accounting purposes and as property for tax purposes.