Clear Rules of the Road Sought as Members of Congressional Blockchain Caucus Pen Letter to U.S. Accounting Standards Organization on Need for Digital Asset Accounting Standards

May 14, 2021

Today, seven Members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, led by co-Chair Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN), wrote to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to establish much needed accounting standards for digital assets. “We urge you to establish accounting standards that afford companies clear alternatives to determining the accounting treatment for digital assets maintained on their books,” said the Members of the Caucus.  This action is urgently needed, and we support these Members of Congress in their efforts to clarify the appropriate accounting standards.

“The growth of digital assets has been staggering and will only continue to rise. To ensure clear rules of the road, authoritative accounting guidance from the FASB is imperative. Companies with bitcoin holdings deserve clarity. If our institutions do not keep pace, engagement with digital assets will stall. I am urging the FASB to take the lead and issue guidance that will encourage the ongoing growth of this industry,” said Congressman Emmer. 

Emmer continued, “With clear and appropriate authoritative accounting standards, companies will be able to clearly reflect the value of their digital asset holdings on their balance sheets, which offers investors and stakeholders more transparency and strengthens our markets.”

Four years ago, the Chamber sent a letter to the FASB requesting just this – that the FASB determine the appropriate accounting standards for digital assets.  We also identified potential accounting treatments to aid the FASB. We said that lack of guidance weakens companies’ financial statements which are used, among other things, by investors in making investment decisions. Since then, the market capitalization for digital assets has exploded from $100 billion to over $2 trillion. The number of companies accepting digital assets for payments, adding digital assets to their corporate treasuries, and investing in digital assets has increased significantly, highlighting the need for clarity regarding the accounting treatment of digital assets.

“We are proud to support this important effort that will give businesses clear direction on how to treat digital assets on their balance sheets,” said Amy Davine Kim, Chief Policy Officer, Chamber of Digital Commerce. “We appreciate the leadership of Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus to help promote digital asset innovation and growth in the United States.