Our CFO Matthew May answered some interview questions for us to share his opinion on the economic and financial implications of the growing crypto economy. Matthew will be a presenter on the Consensus 2018 panel Emerging Fundamentals for the Accounting and Audit of Blockchain Based Assets Such as Cryptocurrencies on Wednesday May 16th at 9am. Our COO Tammy will also be present at the conference.
JS: You are at the forefront of building account technology for crypto companies. How did you get started with that?
MM: I actually got started in blockchain and cryptocurrency with a company called Storj after they finished their 2nd token sale in May of last year. The founder that was the “finance guy” of the founding four there left in July to work on other projects and they brought me in. My first project there was working with Deloitte to figure out all the accounting and tax consequences for the token sale, and we ended up being the first company ever to get “approved” by their national office. So we blazed a bit of a trail for the other token sales that came after.
I have tried to get as much information as I can out there to help others, we even consolidated most of it on our crypto site: Acuity’s Cryptocurrency Accounting and I’m speaking to companies and other accountants weekly about how to move forward in this crazy regulatory environment. This is the first time in my 20+ year accounting career that anyone has ever wanted to talk to me about accounting for anything, except my family who definitely has crypto fatigue.
Since Storj we’ve helped miners, hedge funds, and several other companies that have done ERC20 token sale issuers to figure out the day to day processes behind crypto. I basically spend all my time retrofitting cryptocurrency issues to the fiat rules, processes, and systems that I’ve learned over my career.
JS: In addition to ClearCoin, you’re doing some finance work with the Storj token. Do you see a future where the token economy will rival the fiat economy?
MM: I think the token economy has a place in the overall economy. Utility tokens are actually not incredibly dissimilar to gift cards to me – they are definitely a next generation version though. If you think about it, gift cards, they have just not had widespread adoption beyond retail or BtoC applications. Utility tokens have enabled B2B companies to take advantage of that same concept, and the Ethereum ERC20 platform has become a next generation Kickstarter if you really think about it.
JS: Are you currently developing new products to aid companies with crypto accounting?
MM: I was searching to find a solution to automate crypto accounting and I came across a few early stage technologies last year. In fact, I was a beta tester at both Balanc3 and Verady, who I consider to be the leaders in automating the accounting for crypto. Since then I joined the accounting advisory board at Verady and work weekly with them to give the team product feedback. If companies are looking for automating their solutions, those are the two to watch.
JS: The market cap of the crypto economy has previously gone above $500 billion. Do you agree with some forecasts it will reach into the trillions?
MM: More than the ultimate market cap, I’ve concentrated more investigating about where the values of the token stabilize. Warren Webber is the economist we used at Storj to really look into how tokens value might level out. My crude summary of his findings are that once these token sale companies have more activity on their platforms than the crypto-to-crypto exchanges, the value and volatility start to stabilize and candidly make more sense. The next phase of the token economy will see some of these platforms really get some usage out of their tokens and everyone should be watching those companies to learn how these economic theories work in practice.