EY buys cryptocurrency tech from startup Elevated Consciousness

06 August 2018 Consulting.us 4 min. read
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Accounting and consulting firm EY has purchased the Andy Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax (CAAT) tool from a Silicon Valley startup. CAAT links with cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets, and gives accountants greater visibility into crypto transactions and inventory.

Once only associated with black market transactions and less-traceable forms of payment, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are gaining more widespread acceptance across the world. Many prominent economists – like Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz, James Heckman, and Angus Deaton – however, are skeptical of the currency, seeing it as a dangerous economic bubble or as simply a better way to conduct less-traceable criminal transactions.

Nonetheless, businesses are preparing for a future with more people using cryptocurrencies. An elite Montessori school in NYC, for example, has already started accepting bitcoin for tuition. Big businesses like Microsoft, Shopify, Paypal, and Subway also accept the cryptocurrency as payment – though obviously still pegged to its USD equivalent value.

As such, professional services firms like EY are preparing to service expanding client needs with cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions. In April, EY launched its Blockchain Analyzer – a suite of audit tools which facilitate the in-depth review of cryptocurrency business transaction. The analyzer helps audit teams gather transaction data from multiple blockchain ledgers, and then perform analysis of the data.

Now, EY has purchased from San Francisco startup Elevated Consciousness certain tech assets and patents, including the Andy Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax (CAAT) tool. The tool allows for better visibility into cryptocurrency transactions and inventory – pulling out the anonymity and less-traceability that libertarians, criminals, and privacy-minded techies love about the currency.EY buys cryptocurrency tech from startup Elevated ConsciousnessLeaders at EY are bullish on the use of cryptocurrencies in the legitimate business world. It’s just another ‘wave of the future’ type thing like the raft of industry 4.0 technologies that will rapidly take us away from the world we know to one of automation, AI, augmented reality, and the like. And if the market wants cryptocurrency solutions, EY will give it to them. Economists like Angus Deaton, meanwhile, can question whether the world needs ‘another speculative asset.’

“Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are transformational forces with a strong potential to fundamentally change the way business is done,” commented Kate Barton, EY Global Vice Chair – Tax Services. “CAAT positions us as a leader in serving a variety of companies adopting crypto-assets in an evolving regulatory environment.”

Michael Meisler, Ernst & Young LLP Tax partner and Tax Blockchain leader, added, “We continue to see an increase in consensus among the asset management community that crypto-assets are a viable asset class from an investment standpoint.”

The CAAT tool was acquired by the EY Americas Tax Innovations Foundry – a group tasked with building new businesses that give the broader company innovative tax solutions to provide to their clients. The tool’s purchase is part of EY’s plan to accelerate their growing portfolio of blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions – with tax-mindedness built-in. CAAT will be added into the EY Blockchain Analyzer portfolio.

The Andy Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax tool was created by Elevated Consciousness CEO VJ Anma and a team of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Anma drew on his experience as a cryptocurrency fund manager to develop the innovative application.

“Numerous firms are interested in technology around cryptocurrencies like CAAT, but the unparalleled entrepreneurial know-how and experience that the Foundry offers is what attracted us to the EY organization,” said Anma. “The organization is positioned to be a leader in the blockchain and crypto-asset space. My team and I are excited to support EY as the technology is taken to the next level.”

Consultancies are especially enthusiastic about using the underlying blockchain digital ledger technology of bitcoin to create secure and easier-to-use accounting solutions. Recently, EY partnered with Microsoft to launch a blockchain royalties management solution. EY also recently teamed up with Towers Watson to introduce the world’s first marine insurance blockchain platform