A Cheltenham-based accountancy firm has launched a dedicated blockchain and cryptocurrency advisory business to support the growing number of businesses and individuals trading in the currency across the UK.
Based in Clarendon House in Clarence Street in the town, Nephos has launched MYNA, which will see a dedicated team of experts offer advisory and compliance services to businesses accepting the currency as payment, as well as individual investors.
The MYNA team will also support a number of growing cryptocurrency platforms as more people switch to using the payment method and currencies like bitcoin becomes more mainstream.
“As a self-professed technology geek and avid follower of this sector, I am beyond excited to be able to create MYNA, a business that will focus solely on this area,” said Joe David, managing director. “While the world of cryptocurrency is new for the majority of people, my team and I have been quietly building our knowledge and expertise in this sector for the last few years.
What is cryptocurrency and bitcoin? A cryptocurrency is a type of currency that uses digital tokens as money. They were created to allow person-to-person transactions without the need for banks. As such, cryptocurrencies are not controlled by one person or by a government in the same way that our British Pound Sterling is via the Bank of England. Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, but there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies in circulation. The Bitcoin system uses blockchain technology to record transactions and ownership of bitcoins. This system connects groups of different transactions (blocks) together over time (in a chain). Blockchain provides a record (or database) of every bitcoin transaction that has ever happened, and it is available for anyone to see and update on a public ledger. Digital signatures can be used to keep the transactions secure, and let other people check that the transactions are real. This also means that coins can’t simply be copies. Part of the appeal of cryptocurrency is its security. The Bitcoin system is protected by cryptography, which is a method of checking and securing data using extremely difficult mathematical codes. This makes the system very hard to hack or destroy.
“As part of this, we have been working alongside a small number of crypto and blockchain businesses behind the scenes, not only helping shape their business but ultimately shaping the market in the UK. Now, with cryptocurrency starting to move from the tech pages into the mainstream business and finance news pages, the case for cementing our knowledge into a market leading service is more compelling than ever,” continued Joe.
Over the last 18 months, Nephos has been trialling cryptocurrency payments from a small number of clients. With the launch of MYNA, this facility will be extended to all of the firm’s clients, as well as advising clients on how they can accept the currency as payment as well.
One business that has already benefitted from the expertise of the MYNA team is leading cryptocurrency platform DeversiFi. “The MYNA team has been with us every step of the way,” said Ross Middleton, co-founder. “Crypto-native projects are by definition complex beasts but the MYNA team has been instrumental in DeversiFi’s growth, allowing us to concentrate on product delivery instead of back-office.”
The launch of MYNA builds on Nephos’ reputation as a technology-driven accountancy practice. Known as an early adopter of fintech products into the accountancy industry, Joe and his team are often called upon to share their knowledge and expertise with accountants across Europe.
We asked: How does paying in a currency that doesn’t exist, work, Nephos answered: The currency does exist – it’s just not a physical item you can hold in your hand, nor is it traded in the same way or in the same places that more recognised currencies are. Currently, it’s not as widely accepted or used like more traditional denominations like GBP or US dollars, but this is quickly changing Cryptocurrency transactions are happening all the time, but you don’t need to keep a bitcoin in that format if you don’t want to. If you receive it as payment for a service or product, you can immediately convert into a standard issue currency, such as GBP or Euro. While the Bank of England doesn’t like the ‘decentralised’ nature of the currency at present, Nephos says it recognises the role it will play in the future of global finance. Last year, the Bank of England announced plans to develop its own cryptocurrency with other leading banks. Sweden has already put moves in place to create its own cryptocurrency currency. Facebook is working on its own currency called Libra, which will launch this year.
“We’re already working with some high-level businesses in the crypto space and we will be announcing two further high-profile partnerships in the next few days. As the demand grows for access to blockchain and cryptocurrency accountancy expertise like ours, we can only see growth in what is a very exciting area,” added Joe.