Professional services firm acquired its first non-fungible token, expanding its presence in the cryptoasset space
In late February, KPMG in Canada made its first NFT acquisition from the highly acclaimed World of Women (WoW) art collection, establishing its foothold into the growing world of digital art.
The acquisition came three weeks after the professional services firm announced the addition of Bitcoin and Ethereum to its corporate treasury.
One of the driving factors behind the purchase was gaining first-hand experience participating in the burgeoning NFT market, the firm said in a statement the day of the announcement.
“This acquisition reflects our belief not only in the continued growth of NFTs, but in the value of WoW and its mission. Having now gone through the process, we are well-positioned to guide our clients around building a corporate NFT strategy, including, acquiring, and safeguarding NFTs” said Benjie Thomas, Managing Partner, Advisory Services for KPMG in Canada.
While KPMG is not the first firm to jump into NFTs – Visa, Nike, Yum Brands and Coca-Cola have all developed NFT strategies – it’s the first of the Canadian professional services firms to announce a direct acquisition.
The firm chose an NFT from the WoW art collection because of its focus on supporting female artists, something that aligns with KPMG’s Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (ID&E) strategy. One of the key pillars of that strategy is advancing gender inclusion.
“Women are underrepresented in the world of all things crypto, which makes us proud to make our first NFT acquisition in a collection that supports women,” said KPMG’s National Risk Consulting Leader and Partner Nancy Chase.
“Women are underrepresented in the world of all things crypto, which makes us proud to make our first NFT acquisition in a collection that supports women”
– Nancy Chase, KPMG’s National Risk Consulting Leader and Partner
Only 16 per cent of NFT artists are women, and they account for just 5 per cent of NFT sales, according to a recent monthly report from ArtTactic. Chase says she hopes that KPMG’s NFT acquisition helps draw more women into the space.
A recent poll by KPMG Canada showed 53 per cent of Canadians think the NFT market opens the door for women artists to promote and monetize their work in ways that weren’t previously available to them, while 43 per cent say the market breaks down gender diversity barriers.
KPMG says the WoW NFT will be used to raise awareness of NFTs within the firm and among clients, and also in recruitment and marketing efforts to attract more women to advisory roles.
“There are numerous use cases for NFTs,” says Kareem Sadek, KPMG partner and Cryptoassets and Blockchain Services co-lead. “We are already seeing organizations from retailers and sports leagues to auction houses, celebrities, and not-for-profits use NFTs to market their brand, recruit talent, create value, raise awareness for causes, and connect with customers,” he added.
The WoW NFT collection has earned numerous celebrity endorsements, a series of Billboard magazine covers, and most recently, a rare WoW NFT sold at renowned auction house Christie’s for the equivalent of C$944,000. According to Artmarket.com’s 2021 Global Art Market Report, NFTs generated C$296 million at global auctions last year, surpassing the photography market in value.
While KPMG has firmly planted its feet in the cryptoasset space with an NFT purchase and by adding Bitcoin and Ethereum to its balance sheet, it’s not stopping there. The firm’s cryptoasset practice is planning to expand on its capabilities across Decentralized Finance, NFTs and the Metaverse.
“We’ve been inundated with calls from organizations that want to get into the crypto ecosystem – including institutional investors ranging from pension funds to family offices, financial services and even non-profits,” says Kunal Bhasin, Director and co-lead of the Cryptoassets and Blockchain Services practice.
“We expect to see continued growth in adoption from these organizations in the years to come, and we’ll continue to think of creative ways to invest in the space and complete initiatives that align with our values and support the ecosystem.”