The Canadian operations of Big Four auditor Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler, or KPMG, could play a role in institutions entering the crypto space, two team members said.

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Speaking to Cryptooshala at the Collision conference in Toronto on Tuesday, Karim Sadek and Kunal Bhasin of KPMG Canada’s crypto assets and blockchain services team said the company added bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to its balance sheet to show others what it has. “there was a skin in the game.” Owning digital assets was just the first step in deepening the crypto space, Sadek said.

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“We thought it was better to walk this path on our own — to show the community that we are part of it, we support the community,” said Bhasin. “We also support the institutionalization of space.”

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Sadeq added that the company’s foray into the crypto space was not a “fluke” related to falling prices, but rather that the management board was doing research and moving forward. Despite the current bear market, Bhasin said there is room for development in this space and many institutions are likely to come forward with more understanding in the future.

According to the couple, KPMG’s crypto team saw “big momentum” in regards to asset tokenization in the real estate market and beyond, but also factored in the potential rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse:

“[The Metaverse] is still at a very early stage – companies are still investigating. But that’s something they’ll continue to explore and dive into as soon as the space is ready.”

The KPMG team added that regulators could turn their attention to institutions if adoption grows, providing a basis for companies to conduct “due diligence” on investors. Canadian regulators have created a favorable environment for the firm to explore cryptocurrencies, Sadek said, adding that KPMG launched a survey in 2022 aimed at measuring growth in the area.

KPMG Canada adds BTC and ETH to its treasury

In 2021, Canadian officials initiated regulatory action against crypto exchanges Poloniex and OKex and warned firms not to advertise gambling-style promotions. However, the country was also home to the first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, which was launched by Purpose in February.

“Bear market or not, institutions continue to ask these questions. [on NFTs, the etaverse, Web3, and crypto]Bhasin said. “They continue to explore.”