Acquiring protected hard cash management and treasury in-depth at CFO for yrs, I’ve been astounded by the statements of organizations investing slices of their hard cash reserves in Bitcoin. Some company media shops, too, suggest it tends to make great perception for a VP of treasury to get short-expression hard cash residing in money marketplace funds or time-bearing deposits and acquire units of the cryptocurrency.

In “Holding Bitcoin Nevertheless Dangerous,” we note why, unless of course a firm expects hard cash inflows and outflows in Bitcoin, it would be a very speculative, unsafe expenditure. As Marwan Forzley, CEO of Veem, informed our reporter, “While Bitcoin’s price tag has absent up significantly, we have also seen important drops that can develop rather a bit of losses.”

Cease correct there. Principal preservation is the sine qua non of short-expression hard cash management. Shed extra than a couple million dollars of the hard cash to be invested on funds projects or sit on the balance sheet as a safety web, and you will be shown the door.

We are extra than a ten years previous the financial disaster, but I guess the freezing of the auction-price securities (ARS) marketplace in 2008 has been neglected. Holding these personal debt instruments — which had a very long-expression nominal maturity but had an desire price that consistently reset as a result of a dutch auction — eventually caused thousands and thousands of dollars of corporate hard cash create-downs. Banking companies shed, too — corporate consumers sued them for promoting ARSs as protected, very liquid, and hard cash-equal securities.

Bitcoin could be liquid, but it is significantly from protected, and the accounting is muddled. Regardless of becoming traded in an active marketplace, Bitcoin is nevertheless regarded an intangible asset. What’s extra, the Economic Accounting Expectations Board is in no hurry to set any new requirements for it, suggests new FASB Chair Richard Jones.

I fear the Bitcoin tribe will pressure treasurers and finance chiefs to allot some part of their short-expression hard cash to Bitcoin. But finance executives shouldn’t be swayed by defective arguments this kind of as that Bitcoin is an successful hedge from inflation. Based mostly on no intrinsic value, Bitcoin’s price tag does not correlate with any asset selling prices or movements in inflation charges, so how can an trader structure a hedge with it?

The arguments for holding Bitcoin overlook marketplace realities and financial management ideas. Only if a finance executive is Alright with that must they take into consideration introducing cryptocurrency to a portfolio.

This belief piece initially appeared in the April/Might 2020 print edition of CFO.

bitcoin, hard cash management, Challenge 2021-05 CFO, note