Grant Thornton, the firm that audits Circle’s USDC stablecoin, on Thursday announced that it audited more than $10 billion in crypto assets in the first quarter of this year.
The audit company believed to have 15 to 20 clients, including crypto exchanges and major crypto businesses.
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“Cryptocurrency companies must contend with an auditing challenge that is at once simple and complex,” Johnny Lee, national practice leader for forensic technology services at Grant Thornton, said. “First, can you prove that you own and control the assets you are claiming as yours? And, second, do those assets really exist – and can you prove as much?”
Building a scalable audit platform
The Chicago-headquartered company scrutinized 40 digital currencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, XRP, EOS, Tezos, Zcash, Monero, and a number of ERC-20 tokens. It also detailed that its proprietary audit platform examined more than 100 million cryptocurrency addresses.
The company has developed proprietary methods for testing the ownership and existence of each of these currencies and, to scale these capabilities for rapid testing, the firm has developed forensic nodes for complex currencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
“We’ve spent four years developing technology platforms and auditing methodologies that allow us to create point-in-time balances for cryptocurrencies – and we’ve done it with a level of accuracy that satisfies strict auditing standards. The result is that we can independently verify what a company holds in various cryptocurrencies,” Markus Veith, a partner in the audit practice at Grant Thornton and leader of the firm’s digital assets practice, added.
A vague practice?
Though the accounting firm is auditing crypto companies, it is not at liberty to disclose any discrepancies found in the blockchain and the company’s books.
“We are constantly finding more coins than we’ve been told are out there,” Lee added.