‘Phygital’ twist: Post Bitcoin, Ethereum exposure, KPMG steps into the metaverse

Lavina Daryanani
Source: BBC

The world of finance is intertwined. During the initial days, the conventional financial system tried to shield itself from Bitcoin and other digital monetary variants, and however, the line is gradually being erased now.

Big Four accounting firms—known for providing top-notch audit, taxation, and consulting services—have gradually begun testing the blockchain. In September last year, EY announced its integration with Polygon and outlined its framework to deploy its blockchain solutions on the public Ethereum ecosystem. Again, in May this year, the Polygon EY partnership propelled the launch of the zk rollup on the former’s mainnet.

Similarly, in February this year, KPMG had completed an allocation of crypto assets— that included Bitcoin and Ethereum—to its corporate treasury. Notably, the same was the firm’s first direct investment in crypto.

KPMG steps into the metaverse

Now, in what is the latest development, the Big Four firm has stepped into the metaverse. KPMG US and Canada are reportedly opening a metaverse “collaboration hub” to connect employees, clients, and others with Web3. It’s collectively making a $30 million investment this year in Web3 experiences, with the metaverse “hub” as the “signature piece.”

Opining on the said development, Laura Newinski, deputy chair and chief operating officer at KPMG US, said,

“The metaverse is a market opportunity, a way to re-engage talent and a path to connect people across the globe through a new collaborative experience. The unique experience provided by our collaboration hub will tap the creativity and passion of our people and clients to accelerate innovation.”

The chief executive officer and senior partner at KPMG Canada, Elio Luongo, on the other hand, said,

“Launching a collaborative space in the metaverse is a natural evolution in our journey as an innovation-driven firm. The world has changed drastically over the last few years, and our people and clients are interested in exploring new ways of working. This offers them a new immersive space to exchange ideas.”

Per other execs like KPMG Canada’s Armughan Ahmad, the metaverse makes it possible for users to experience the ‘phygital’ world—an amalgamation of the physical and digital worlds.

As a part of their strategic innovation roadmap, KPMG will continue to explore opportunities, co-create new tools, launch learning, and dev platforms, and recruit talent to help “navigate” the evolving convergence of the said worlds, among other things.