Institutions are exploring the space — KPMG Canada crypto team

The Canadian operations of Big Four auditor Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler, or KPMG, may have a role to play in institutions entering the crypto space, according to two team members.

Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Collision conference in Toronto on Tuesday, Kareem Sadek and Kunal Bhasin of KPMG Canada’s crypto assets and blockchain services team said the company had added Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to its balance sheet to show others it “had skin in the game.” According to Sadek, holding digital assets was just the first step moving deeper into the crypto space.

“We thought it’s better to go through the journey ourselves – show the community we’re part of it, we’re supportive of the community,” said Bhasin. “We’re supportive of the institutionalization of the space as well.”

Sadek added that the company’s foray into the crypto space was not a “fluke” based around price dips, but rather having a governance council do the research and moving forward. Despite the current bear market, Bhasin said there was room for the space to mature, with many institutions likely to come in the future with greater understanding.

According to the pair, KPMG’s crypto team had seen “a lot of momentum” around the tokenization of assets in the real estate market and beyond, but was also considering the potential growth of nonfungible tokens (NFTs and the metaverse:

“[The metaverse] is still in its very early stages – companies are still exploring. But that’s something they’ll continue to explore and take a deeper dive into it once the space is ready.”

The KPMG team added that regulators could turn their attention to institutions if adoption grows, providing a framework for companies to conduct “due diligence” with respect to investors. According to Sadek, Canadian regulators had provided a favorable environment for the firm’s exploration into crypto, adding that KPMG had launched a survey in 2022 aimed at measuring growth in the space.

Related: KPMG in Canada adds BTC and ETH to its treasury

In 2021, Canadian officials initiated regulatory actions against crypto exchanges Poloniex and OKex and warned firms not to advertise “gambling style” promotions. However, the nation was also the home of the first spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, launched by Purpose in February.

“Bear market or not, institutions are continuing to ask these questions [on NFTs, the metaverse, Web3, and crypto],” said Bhasin. “They’re continuing to explore.”

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