KPMG in Canada said it added Bitcoin and Ethereum to its corporate treasury as part of a commitment to emerging technologies and asset classes, becoming one of the highest profile mainstream firms to invest in cryptocurrencies. 

The auditing, tax and advisory partnership didn’t disclose how much in cryptocurrency it purchased. Carbon offsets were also added to make good on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments, KPMG said in a statement Monday. The crypto purchases were made through Gemini Trust Co., which is providing custody services. 

Canada has been ahead of the U.S. in terms of acceptance of digital assets, such as approving crypto exchange traded funds. KPMG’s U.S. business -- a separate legal entity -- is an auditor for MicroStrategy Inc., which is the biggest corporate advocate for buying Bitcoin and has made it part of the software company’s strategy. Besides of handful of digital-asset companies, Tesla Inc. has been the only prominent corporation to buy Bitcoin, a policy later backed away from by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. 

“Having gone through this process ourselves now, we’re confident we can guide clients and prospective clients through the process of cryptoasset treasury allocation,” KPMG said in the email. “Our investment allows us to share our journey, our experiences, our challenges with them so that we can help them navigate the cryptoasset world.”

Owning digital assets as part of treasury can be risky, however, due to big swings in cryptocurrency prices. Bitcoin is down about 35 per cent from an all-time high set in early November. Both MicroStrategy and Tesla have taken impairment changes for their holdings after the value fell below the purchase prices. MicroStrategy shares tumbled last month after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the company’s request to use unofficial accounting measures to present the value to investors. 

KPMG is a global organization comprised of many independent entities. KPMG in Canada employs nearly 8,000 people across Canada.