The FASB is set to review its accounting rules for digital assets, which could see firms no longer be required to report crypto such as BTC as “intangible assets” on their balance sheets.
Bitcoin proponent and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor has welcomed the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) vote to review accounting rules for digital assets and commodities.
As it stands under current FASB guidelines — which is the source of authoritative Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) — companies must report digital assets such as BTC as “intangible assets” on their balance sheets.
This is due to crypto not meeting the agreed definition of “cash and cash equivalents, financial instruments, financial assets, and inventory” amongst the agency.
As crypto is deemed as an intangible asset, companies are required to measure the assets at their lowest price during a given reporting period, which often results in “impairment losses” on balance sheets even if the firm hasn’t closed its position.
The FASB held a meeting to vote on the crypto accounting review earlier today, and while it is yet to publish the results via its website, it appears that Saylor was watching the live stream as he reported the vote went through 7-0 and stated “congratulations to the Bitcoin community.”
Congratulations to the #Bitcoin community. This morning, by unanimous vote of 7-0, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agreed to add a project to review Accounting for Exchange-Traded Digital Assets and Commodities.
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) May 11, 2022
“This is amazing. One step closer to making it easier for corporates to own Bitcoin on their balance sheet and account for it in a cogent manner,” responded Kraken’s Director of Growth Marketing Dan Held.
While it is unclear when the review will take place, or what the outcome could be, a shift to a definition resembling anything in the ballpark of “traditional financial assets” would make it a lot easier for firms to accurately report their holdings instead of reporting them at their lowest prices under intangible assets.
For example, both Tesla and MicroStrategy have reported impairment losses on their BTC stashes at various quarterly reports over the past 12 months. This is despite not realizing a loss through a sale and the price of BTC often indicating that their positions are in the green.
Cointelegraph also reported yesterday that New York-based digital marketing and radio station company Townsquare Media posted a Q1 impairment loss of $400,000 on its BTC holdings. This is despite being able to sell its position for $1.2 million profit on the last day of Q1 on March 31.
BTC and MSTR tanking
If MicroStrategy was reporting today however the impairment loss would be actual. MicroStrategy reported the average purchase price of its mammoth 129,218 BTC holdings at $30,700 in its Q1 report released last week, suggesting the firm would post a loss if it were to sell today.
According to Forbes estimates, Saylor’s net worth — which is largely comprised of BTC and MicroStrategy stock (MSTR) – has dropped from $1.6 billion in March to just shy of $1 billion this week.
Data from Coingecko shows that BTC has dropped 27.9% since March.1 to sit at $29,741 at the time of writing, while MSTR has dropped 63.7% to $168.20 within that same time frame according to TradingView.
Although Saylor has outlined on numerous occasions that irrespective of price, the company will continue to buy and hodl.