CFO Intelligence Magazine – Spring/Summer 2024

Mark d. Mishler


With the growing number of cryptocurrency business transactions, CFOs face different accounting and tax requirements, unique financial process and internal control needs, and new risk management scenarios. CFOs need to prepare for unique cryptocurrency recognition and measurement impacts on financial reporting. Recently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) favorably revised its cryptocurrency accounting and reporting guidance for some crypto assets.

Despite ‘currency’ in its name, cryptocurrency is neither currency nor money. Even though cryptocurrency may symbolize currency traits when it is used as a medium of exchange for goods and services, it is not currency. Money, or fiat currency, is issued by a country’s central bank, and financial statements must be denominated in currency. Instead, cryptocurrency is a digital asset.

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset with ownership records stored in a computerized database, using cryptography to secure transaction records that verify the chain of ownership in a digital ledger. Cryptography is a communications technique that allows only the sender and intended recipient of a message to view its contents. The most well-recognized cryptocurrency is bitcoin. There are other digital assets, like digital art, also known as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs.


Compared with fiat currencies that have relatively stable values, cryptocurrency values exhibit extreme price volatility, and have consistently experienced rapid and significant fluctuations within short time periods. This inherent high volatility creates a challenge for accurately measuring and recording transactions. Significantly adding to this challenge beyond transaction measurement, the now-present cryptocurrency asset’s value can continue to fluctuate between the transaction date and the financial reporting date, impacting income statement and balance sheet.