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20/07/2020 - EFRAG's Discussion Paper on the accounting for crypto-assets (liabilities) - holder and issuer perspective

EFRAG has published a Discussion Paper to gather constituents' views on the accounting for crypto-assets (liabilities) from a holder and issuer perspective. Comments are welcome throughout a 12-month period from the date of issuance until 31 July 2021. Comments provided earlier during the consultation period will be welcome. The consultation period caters for constituents’ impacted priorities and any constraints faced due to the current pandemic. It also allows EFRAG sufficient time to obtain as much feedback as possible. 



​The DP is motivated by the ongoing evolution, growth potential and diversity of crypto-assets. Their unique and risky nature has drawn the attention of stakeholders including National Standard Setters, market practitioners, accounting firms, regulators, policymakers, and academics. Stakeholders have also highlighted the existing gaps in the accounting requirements for crypto-assets(liabilities). Furthermore, the IASB has been monitoring developments in crypto-assets (liabilities) activities since 2016.

The reason for focusing on crypto-assets (liabilities) - rather than on other cases of blockchain technology - is because they have a longer transactions history and evidence of being monetisable than is currently the case with other blockchain technologies. Furthermore, their economic characteristics and possible accounting approaches have been subject to considerable analysis by stakeholders in the accounting and academic profession.

The DP identifies the following three possible approaches on the way forward for addressing IFRS requirements for crypto-assets (liabilities):
  • Option 1: No amendment to existing IFRS requirements.
  • Option 2: Amend and/or clarify existing IFRS requirements.
  • Option 3: A new Standard on crypto-assets (liabilities) or a broader category of digital assets (liabilities).
TIMING TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK

The DP (accessible here​​​) is open for comments for 12 months and comments should arrive no later than 31 July 2021. Where respondents are able to, EFRAG would welcome comments at any time from the date of publication – and before and until the deadline.

The 12-month comment period is to give constituents sufficient time to evaluate and provide feedback on the topic. It caters for constituents’ impacted priorities and constraints due to the current pandemic. It also allows EFRAG sufficient time to obtain as much feedback as possible including through outreach activities that will be held in a manner and timing that is suitable for stakeholders. Later this quarter, EFRAG Secretariat will further communicate the plans for outreach. 

EFRAG welcomes any comment letter responses that can be provided earlier during the consultation period.

If there is a need to clarify or further discuss any matter addressed in the Discussion Paper, please feel free to at any time reach out to the EFRAG research team via cryptoassets@efrag.org