‘Big Four’ accounting firm to test Bitcoin payments for employees

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'Big Four' accounting firm to test Bitcoin payments for employees

‘Big Four’ accounting firm, Deloitte, has launched a pilot test that allows employees to use Bitcoin as a payment option in limited scope within the company.

Employees at the firm will be able to use Bitcoin to pay for food purchases at the company cafeteria using a simple mobile app.

Local media reports that Deloitte is testing Bitcoin payments among its employees in an attempt to better understand how it might be able to use digital currencies at other levels of the company.

Laurent Collet, a partner at the firm’s advisory arm, has praised its initiative, saying that it is “good to have our employees assess this new technology.”

It should be noted that the test is internal only and that the firm has no immediate plans to roll out Bitcoin payments for its clients.

A competitor to Deloitte and fellow ‘Big Four’ firm, PwC, announced earlier this month that its Luxembourg offices will begin accepting Bitcoin payments from clients starting on October 1st, 2019.

Laurent Collet, partner at Deloitte's advisory arm
Laurent Collet, partner at Deloitte’s advisory arm (Deloitte)

Cautious about crypto but big on blockchain

While Deloitte may be taking its time in assessing the use cases of cryptocurrency, it is full steam ahead when it comes to blockchain technology.

Collet said that the company is keen to use blockchain in other areas of the accounting and auditing processes besides making payments.

“This is where we focus our attention right now in linking this new technology with the needs of the Luxembourg industry,” he stated.

Using blockchain technology to move funds would save the firm time and money, making transactions easier to audit and removing “middle men” like accountants and auditing firms.

Deloitte’s blockchain initiatives

This is not Deloitte’s first foray into cryptocurrency or blockchain. The firm has been working on different blockchain initiatives that have helped it remain at the forefront in terms of innovation.

One of these projects, known as “Blockchain in a Box” or BIAB, that was designed to provide “intuitive and, tangible blockchain demonstrations and experimentations.”

BIAB is a mobile platform that is able to host blockchain-based solutions across four different nodes and three video displays and can be integrated with external services.

Deloitte sees blockchain technology as a tool to enable larger business applications and approaches. 

Linda Pawczuk, U.S. blockchain lead and principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, commented:

“What’s often misunderstood about blockchain is that it is an entirety of a technology solution — when in reality, it’s a technology component that enables larger business applications and approaches.”

Linda Pawczuk, U.S. blockchain lead and principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP
Linda Pawczuk, U.S. blockchain lead and principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP (Deloitte)

The firm has also partnered with TruTrace in order to track Cannabis using blockchain technology. 

TruTrace launched a new service called StrainSecure that was developed in partnership with Deloitte. By using blockchain, it can track cannabis from seed to sale. 

This system guarantees that customers and retailers are receiving the correct product following all the regulatory standards that apply. 

These blockchain-based tracking systems allow individuals to increase their trust in the company selling the products.

Blockchain technology can be used for tracking goods across different supply chains. Other firms already using similar systems include Carrefour and JD.com.