Global Token: Receiving Unclean Audit Opinion Twice on the Blockchain Operations
This case explores the audit considerations in relation to revenue arising from the operations of a cryptocurrency trading platform. The protagonist is Global Token Limited (Global Token or the Group, stock code: 8192.HK), which commenced its "blockchain technology-related business" segment in FY2018. In the year of commencement, the independent auditors issued a "qualified opinion" on the "commission and service income" recognized from the cryptocurrency trading platform (crypto exchange or cryptocurrency exchanges). In the following year, the auditors issued the same opinion on the same subject matter for the same reasons. Eventually, Global Token resolved to cease all blockchain-related operations during FY2020 owing to the alleged cost pressure. The case seeks to highlight the audit considerations at the stage of client acceptance and continuance. Through the case, students will grapple with the practical questions of how to identify the "assertions" in question, suggest the possible "what can go wrong(s)" (WCGWs) within Global Token's operating procedures, as well as what substantive procedures auditors could perform to obtain assurance in light of the assertions.