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FASB Introduces New Crypto Accounting Rules

Crypto Accounting Rules | Dec 18, 2023

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) introduces the first-ever US crypto accounting rules

Previously, without specific US accounting rules for digital currencies, companies treated cryptocurrencies as intangible assets. This approach meant recording these assets at the purchase price and marking them down permanently if their value decreased, with gains only recognized upon sale. This method often negatively impacted the earnings of companies heavily invested in cryptocurrencies.

New Rules

  • Under the new rules, companies must record their cryptocurrency holdings at fair value.
    • This method aims to reflect the most current value of these assets, a departure from the outgoing practice that only allowed recording the lowest value.
    • This change is significant for companies holding cryptocurrencies as it allows them to report both the increases and decreases in the value of their holdings, affecting net income.
  • Companies will need to make a separate entry for crypto assets on their balance sheets and provide detailed disclosures in their financial statements.
    • Determining the fair value of cryptocurrencies, given their inherent volatility, requires robust valuation methodologies.
    • Companies will need to disclose their valuation methods according to ASC 820.
    • Canadian firms will need to stay abreast of evolving best practices and perhaps develop new tools and frameworks to accurately reflect the value of their digital assets.
  • The rules are set to take effect for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2024, which means they will apply from 2025 for companies with a calendar year-end. However, companies have the option to adopt the rules earlier.
  • The new rules have a narrow scope, intentionally excluding non-fungible tokens (NFTs), stablecoins, issuer-created tokens, and wrapped tokens. FASB may consider expanding the scope in the future if these assets become more prevalent in practice.

Reaction

The crypto industry, including companies like Marathon Digital and MicroStrategy, has welcomed these rules. Standardized accounting for cryptocurrencies is expected to boost investor confidence and potentially lead to broader adoption of digital currencies.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FASB Introduces New Crypto Accounting RulesThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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