Princeton, N.J./New York, N.Y. – National-ranking audit, tax and advisory firm WithumSmith+Brown PC (Withum) has announced the formation of a Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology Services Group to address the unique challenges posed by digital assets, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. As an extension of the firm’s Technology Services Group, the team provides a deep level of expertise to a diverse client base involved with and entering into today’s new alternative asset class.

“Blockchain technology and the rising use and influence of digital assets/tokens are not a passing trend, they are becoming part of the fabric of our technology community and the possibilities of their impact and disruptions across all industries are unlimited. We are embarking into a new era that can permanently and dramatically change how we do business,” said Chris DeMayo, partner and team leader of the new group. “Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology pose highly unique challenges, from technology to accounting and regulatory issues – all of which our experienced, forward-thinking team is uniquely prepared to address on a client-by-client, industry-by-industry basis.”

Led by DeMayo, the Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology Services Group is made up of a team of 12 experts including thought-leaders Deep Gujral, principal; Carl Scheuten, partner; Joe Murray, manager; and Ryan Babiak, partner among others. The firm also is a member of, or accredited by, several prominent industry groups including the Accounting Blockchain Coalition, established to foster best practices in navigating accounting issues related to digital assets, and the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.

Cryptocurrencies and other blockchain assets remove the need for intermediary third parties, such as banks, and replace them with a consensus protocol. In turn, this allows a group of anonymous parties to build a trustworthy network and ledger, removing the need for a centralized authority. According to DeMayo, the private and public sectors involved in blockchain vary.

“From hedge funds with a crypto strategy to entities designing and executing Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, as well as investors trying to navigate the tax implications of crypto, the digital currency world is being embraced by almost every industry and even governments,” he said. “Many large corporations are trying to harness blockchain’s full potential because there is no doubt it will shape the future of payments, given the current climate.”

Established in 1974, Withum is a national top-ranking public accounting firm providing advisory, tax and audit services to businesses and individuals on a local-to-global scale. Withum also is a member of HLB International, a worldwide network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers committed to assisting clients to build and expand globally.