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Understand Bitcoin now, reap the benefits later

Written on Sep 16, 2021

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager 

In an increasingly digital world, embracing Bitcoin could benefit companies in a significant way, said one CPA. 

“The payoffs are being ahead of the curve on the next iteration of the internet,” said Nick Ward, CPA, manager of blockchain and digital assets at Armanino LLP. “Bitcoin is only the starting point.” 

Ward will present “Why CFOs need to care about Bitcoin” this fall at the Ohio Virtual Accounting Shows covering the Bitcoin, the case for buying it, tax considerations for CFOs and more. 

Ward said the trend of investment banks such as Fidelity, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan now offering Bitcoin products will continue to increase in the future. And CFOs can benefit from understanding Bitcoin as it becomes more mainstream.  

“Learning how to interact with it and being prepared comes in the understanding of it,” he said. “It's going to come with an understanding of the controls that are involved and what company's need to do to make sure things are secure on their end, both for the company and for the customers or vendors they're interacting with.” 

For staff that are looking to get their executives on board, Ward recommended starting with education. Each business is different, but first understand how the Bitcoin network functions and then apply that to the nuances of your business. 

It’s also critical to do your own research and draw your own conclusions from that information, Ward said. Don’t be swayed immediately by one opinion, instead take the time to better understand Bitcoin through various reputable sources. 

“One of the most famous economists Paul Krugman wrote an article that the internet would be as impactful on the economy as the fax machine,” he said. “And I think a lot of people probably read that at the time and then stopped worrying about the internet for a little bit. So, doing your own research and learning is important, especially now, when there is a lot of misinformation out there.” 

It’s valuable to pay attention to the next evolution of the digital age, Ward said, as more of our daily interactions become digitized. 
“I think money and finances is only the next step,” he said. “And through education, you're ready and you're paying attention to these innovations as they're happening, and you can identify value when it's created early on for your organization.” 

Register for the Ohio Virtual Accounting Shows today. 

And for On-Demand learning on the fundamentals of bitcoin, visit MyOSCPA.