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IFRS Viewpoint – Accounting for cryptocurrencies – the basics

Adviser alert – May 2018

The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published IFRS Viewpoint – Accounting for cryptocurrencies – the basics.

The IFRS Viewpoint series provides insights on applying IFRS in challenging situations. Each edition will focus on an area where the standards have proved difficult to apply or lack guidance.

This edition provides guidance on some of the basic issues encountered in accounting for cryptocurrencies, focusing on the accounting for the holder. A future IFRS Viewpoint will explore other more complex issues, such as those relating specifically to cryptocurrency miners.

The issue

The popularity of cryptocurrencies has soared in recent years, yet they do not fit easily within IFRS’ financial reporting structure. For example, an approach of accounting for holdings of cryptocurrencies at fair value through profit or loss may seem intuitive but is incompatible with the requirements of IFRS in most circumstances. This IFRS Viewpoint explores the acceptable methods of accounting for holdings in cryptocurrencies while touching upon other issues that may be encountered.

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