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US Accounting Standards Board Member Supports Reporting Crypto Swings as Income

Nov 4, 2022

If adopted, the move would mean cryptocurrency gains and losses would directly impact companies’ earnings. 

The U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) member Frederick Cannon said Thursday he supports recording companies’ crypto gains and losses as part of their net income, according to a report in Bloomberg.

This means that these gains and losses would directly hit these companies’ earnings. The other choice would be to have companies record the swings in the value of their crypto holdings in “other comprehensive income,” which wouldn’t impact earnings.

Last month, FASB signaled its support for fair value accounting for cryptocurrency over the current system of treating them as intangible assets, meaning any declines in value must be permanently recorded as non-cash impairments, while gains are only recorded when the assets have been sold. Fair value accounting means that any crypto losses or gains would be reported immediately, as they would for other traditional financial assets.

Companies that hold large amounts of bitcoin on their balance sheets such as MicroStrategy (MSTR) have been pushing FASB to adopt fair value accounting for crypto, saying it would encourage institutional adoption of digital assets.
“My bias is just to push [cryptocurrencies] through income and make it simple,” Bloomberg quoted Cannon as saying at a securities industry accounting conference. “But that’s just me.”
Cannon is one of seven FASB board members. FASB is scheduled to discuss cryptocurrency accounting treatment in December, according to Bloomberg.

[Bloomberg]