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Digital payments EY Switzerland becomes first advisory firm to accept Bitcoin

Clients can pay for auditing and advisory services with Bitcoin from January 2017

(Keystone)

Consulting firm EY Switzerland (formerly Ernst & Young) will be the first professional services company to offer its clients the possibility of settling their invoices in Bitcoins. The Bitcoin payment option will be available from January 2017 onwards.

“To our knowledge, we are the first professional services company in the world to offer this service,” an EY Switzerland spokesperson told swissinfo.ch.

It is part of the company’s strategy to promote the developments of digital products based on smart contracts with an aim to lowering transaction costs through automatic processing. It is an initiative of EY Switzerland and there are no plans as of yet to roll it across EY branches globally. EY is one of the four biggest accounting firms in the world.

The company has also installed a Bitcoin ATM in its office building in Zurich where Swiss francs can be exchanged for Bitcoins and vice versa. The aim is to help familiarise its employees with the block chain technology and cryptocurrency. The ATM is also accessible to the public on weekdays during office hours.

Switzerland is becoming a hub for block chain technology applications and many Bitcoin-based startups based in the country. Bitcoins can be bought from railway ticket machines, used to pay for government services and traded on the Swiss stock market.

swissinfo.ch

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