'It's a no brainer:' The Big Four are on a hiring spree for crypto audit efforts

Crypto markets have tanked 70% since the beginning of the year, but institutions are just getting started in the nascent market — or so the narrative goes.

On Monday, The Financial Times put out a report that supports this thesis, outlining the ways in which Big Four accounting firms are doubling down on their crypto businesses. Major accounting firms, including EY, PwC, and KPMG, are on a hiring spree and building out in-house crypto projects, Hannah Murphy reported in London. "It’s a no brainer,” Jeanne Boillet, global assurance innovation leader at EY, told the FT. 

EY counts 150 crypto firms as clients, according to the report. Meanwhile, PWC has its own legion of 400 crypto experts. "We are devoting significant resources to how we might provide audit services in not just cryptocurrency, but blockchain," said Ralph Weinberger, the leader of the firm's global network assurance methodology group. In total, major accounting firms are hiring hundreds of experts in crypto and blockchain, Murphy reported. KPMG counts a number of exchanges and funds as its crypto clients. Internally, some of the firms are building out their own crypto tools. EY and PwC launched blockchain auditing tools in 2018. And EY is building out seven blockchain platforms, according to the report. 

The build-out isn't necessarily a bet that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will make a big comeback, but rather that the underpinning blockchain technology will grow more important in myriad sectors. 

Read the full report, here.

Reporting by Frank Chaparro.