Huobi Technology: Accounting for Cryptocurrencies as Intangible Assets
This case explores the accounting treatment of cryptocurrencies that Huobi Technology Holdings Limited (Huobi Technology, stock code: 1611.HK) had classified as intangible assets. Huobi Technology operated a digital asset (cryptocurrency) trading platform and rendered technology solution services in relation to blockchain. Huobi Technology received a loan in both cash and cryptocurrencies from its parent company, Huobi Global Limited. The cryptocurrencies portion of this loan was recognized as intangible assets by Huobi Technology in its statement of financial position. Such accounting classification also had financial implications across statements of profit or loss and other comprehensive income, statement of cash flows, statement of changes in equity, among others. The case seeks to highlight the accounting standards governing recognition of intangible assets. Through the case, students will grapple with the practical questions of how to develop an accounting policy with regard to cryptocurrencies.