While some multi-bln professional service firms are pushing the development and implementation of private Blockchains, Ernst & Young (EY), one of the “Big Four” accounting corporations in the world, is leading the Bitcoin industry to the mainstream.

EY’s Bitcoin ATMs and Wallets For Clients & Employees

In 2016, EY has had tremendous success in introducing Bitcoin to its clients and most importantly, its employees. EY has about 231,000 globally and the firm has already provided EY secure digital wallet applications to all EY employees in Switzerland. The digital wallet allows users to send and receive Bitcoins in a safe and secure ecosystem.

For users or employees that are in need of high liquidity, EY also installed a Bitcoin ATM in their public office in Switzerland, enabling its clients and employees to purchase and sell Bitcoins.

Most importantly, EY is accepting Bitcoin payments for all of their consulting services, which accounts for around $7.8 bln in 2016. This means that any client can pay globally with Bitcoin to cover services provided by EY.

Marcel Stalder, the CEO of EY Switzerland stated:

“We don’t only want to talk about digitalization, but also actively drive this process together with our employees and our clients. It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, two smart contracts and digital currencies.”

Why EY’s Efforts Must be Appreciated

The world’s “Big Four” accounting corporations are PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG, all of which generate revenues of over $20 bln. However, only EY is allocating its resources and capital for the development of Bitcoin. Others are focusing on the so-called “permissioned blockchain,” which is still yet to demonstrate practical and commercial applications.

However, to fully appreciate the efforts of EY, it is crucial to understand the major reason behind the support of PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and other professional services companies for private Blockchains.

Large scale accounting firms and professional service providers deal with multi-bln dollar clients, high profile customers and corporations like banks and financial institutions. Thus, only a very small portion of their clientele will be interested in technologies like Bitcoin that are not adopted by the traditional financial industry.

Bitcoin is seen as a threat against financial dependence and monopoly established by banks and financial institutions as Bitcoin provides users with financial freedom and independence. Essentially, Bitcoin eliminates the necessity of banks, rendering most, if not all, of banking services irrelevant.

Thus, to compete with such a threatening technology or currency, banks have entered a desperation mode in attempting to replicate Bitcoin in a private and controlled environment. Since banks are allocating their capital and resources in the development of Bitcoin, its service providers including accounting firms and professional services companies are forced to follow the vision of banks.

EY remains one of the very few large-scale companies to acknowledge the potential of Bitcoin and the impact it already has had on the global financial ecosystem.