Most recently, international auditing firm Grant Thornton has revealed that it has audited more than $10 billion worth in cryptoassets within the first quarter of 2019. On top of that, these audits accounted for 40 different cryptocurrencies across more than 100 million addresses.
Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. The global auditing firm has revenues over $1.8 billion and works with a broad range of public and private companies, government agencies, financial institutions, as well as civic and religious organizations.
Johnny Lee, national practice leader for Forensic Technology Services at Grant Thornton, has noted in a statement that
“Cryptocurrency companies must contend with an auditing challenge that is at once simple and complex. 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?”
Whilst inconsistencies have been discovered between the blockchains and balance sheets, the firm was not allowed to disclose such cases.
Markus Veith, a partner in the Audit practice at Grant Thornton and leader of the firm’s Digital Assets practice, has disclosed that the firm had spent 4 years developing technology platforms and auditing methodologies which would allow creating point-in-time balances for cryptocurrencies.
Grant Thornton’s proprietary hybrid-cloud audit platform allows the firm to provide a wide range of solutions to its clients. The platform has audited for 40 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple, EOS, Monero, Zcash, USDC and all ERC20- compliant tokens.
In addition to that, Veith said the firm has also created proprietary methods for testing the ownership and existence of each of these currencies, with features that are more efficient and effective than public blockchain-explorers would otherwise provide.
To scale these capabilities to the rapid testing of tens of millions of addresses, the firm has generated proprietary forensic nodes for certain complex currencies such as ETH, BTC, BCH.
Currently, the firm serves between 15 and 20 clients that are highly leveraged in crypto assets, including prominent crypto-denominated exchanges.
Since launching four years ago with one institutional client that only held BTC, the firm had taken a risk to innovate and challenged itself to take on more digital assets. According to the firm, since the market bottomed out in 2018, the firm’s clients have diversified their portfolios. Noteworthy, Grant Thornton has also become the firm of record for Coinbase’s USDC.