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Our open letter to the Financial Accounting Standards Board: “We believe there is a pervasive need to improve the accounting for crypto assets”

TLDR: Coinbase is actively seeking clarity around crypto accounting standards. Recently, we shared our thoughts with a key industry body, the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

By Author


, September 23, 2021

, 2 min read time

On June 24 2021, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an invitation to comment, seeking feedback about future accounting standards to address topics that are of the highest priority to investors, businesses and other stakeholders. As a leader in the crypto space with more than 68 million retail customers and 9,000 institutional clients, we saw it as both a privilege and responsibility for us to provide our input.

Today, we responded to the request with an open letter. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Not being able to account for crypto assets at market values because of current standards does not provide useful information to our investors.

  • Crypto is quickly gaining mainstream adoption. Over the last year, the total crypto assets’ market capitalization grew more than 5x with a total market value over $2 trillion* as of September 15, 2021. More importantly, the innovation is just beginning. Now is the time to improve the accounting for crypto assets.

  • We proposed two projects for improvements to US standards with respect to accounting for crypto assets. We believe the FASB should add both proposals to its agenda for future standard setting:

1)Broadly improving the accounting and reporting by holders of crypto assets

2) Clarify that specialized accounting guidance for broker-dealers should also apply to entities making a market in digital assets

Our mission is to increase economic freedom in the world, through a fair, accessible, and efficient financial system. We are furthering this mission through a constructive relationship with the FASB, enabling us to address the challenges in accounting for crypto in a collaborative way. Our letter is a step towards driving progress and providing relevant and useful accounting and reporting information to the public. As always, we look forward to an ongoing, constructive dialogue with FASB and its staff.

*Per CoinMarketCap, total global market capitalization for crypto assets was $350 billion during September 2020, compared with over $2 trillion as of Sept. 15, 2021.

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