International professional services giant Ernst & Young has become the latest major name to embrace bitcoin, and the currency continues to become increasingly more mainstream.
The firm, which specializes in private client, advisory, investment and financial services, said it would start accepting payments in bitcoin through its Swiss branch in early 2017, marking a step-change in approach from an industry that has been traditionally reticent about embracing the currency.
The move will also see Ernst & Young establish a bitcoin ATM, in addition to its own EY bitwallet for staff.
The announcement comes as the latest in a long line of recent developments, as more major corporations turn their attention to the reality of bitcoin as a major growth area, with potentially viable applications across a number of industries.
Marcel Stalder, CEO of the company’s Swiss division, said the move to accept bitcoin is part of the wider drive for innovation and growth in the digitization of currency, as well as the wider harnessing of blockchain technologies.
“We don’t only want to talk about digitalization, but also actively drive this process together with our employees and our clients. It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, smart contracts and digital currencies.”
Internationally, Ernst & Young already has a track record in bitcoin dealings, having helped the Australian government raise an auction for the sale of $16 million in bitcoin, confiscated in the case against a user of deep web marketplace Silk Road.
As other professional services firms increase their exposure to bitcoin development and research, the sector is reaching the same conclusion as a number of other major companies, in viewing the near-term future of bitcoin and blockchain technology.
With high-profile investments, patents and other emerging technologies fast becoming a daily occurrence, it looks likely that 2017 will bring further substantial developments on the road to taking the technology even more mainstream.
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Odds Shark Staff Fri, Apr 29, 3:00pmBitcoin