The Swiss branch of global professional services firm Ernst & Young is set to begin accepting bitcoin payments next year.
Starting in January, EY Switzerland will accept bitcoin for invoice payments, the firm said last week. The company will also launch a new bitcoin ATM at its office in Zurich, as well as a dedicated wallet option for EY employees.
The launch is, perhaps, an extension of the ongoing cultural experiment involving the digital currency in Switzerland.
Late last month, Swiss railway service SBB made international headlines after it announced that it would sell bitcoin through its nationwide network of ticket kiosks. SBB is planning to test the purchase option over a two-year period. The city of Zug began accepting bitcoin payments for public services in May, and in the country's capital, legislators have begun looking at the question of regulation.
According to EY, the launch fits squarely within this experimental context. Marcel Stalder, EY Switzerland's CEO, said that the company wants its employees to have a working knowledge of digital currencies and blockchain. One way to do that, he said, is to provide ways to access a hands-on education.
Stalder said in a statement:
"We don't only want to talk about digitalization, but also actively drive this process together with our employees and our clients. It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, smart contracts and digital currencies."
EY is just one of the so-called Big Four accounting firms actively involved in the blockchain space today. It recently hosted a competition that led the firm to spotlight three startups that have been working with the technology.
Earlier this year, EY helped the Australian government auction roughly $16m in bitcoin confiscated during an investigation of a Silk Road user.
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