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Virtual Currencies Come With Real Accounting Concerns

Tammy Whitehouse | January 14, 2014

Whether it's Bitcoin, Ripple, or Coinye, virtual currencies are becoming a legitimate means of transacting business. And while no one expects them to give the dollar or euro a run for the money anytime soon, accountants and auditors at some companies are starting to explore the benefits and challenges of virtual currencies.

Overstock.com became the first public company to dip its toe in the water, announcing it will accept Bitcoin as payment for online purchases and will convert the Bitcoin it receives into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. To some extent, that makes the accounting a little more straightforward, says Jacob Farber, senior counsel at law firm Perkins Coie and a member of the technology transactions practice. But there are still plenty of accounting questions to consider, he says. “The accounting issues are an unknown,” Farber says. “Bitcoin has aspects of... To get the full story, subscribe now.