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STAMFORD Conn., February 16, 2021

Gartner Survey Suggests Most Finance Executives Not Planning to Hold Bitcoin as a Corporate Asset

Just 5% of Finance Executives Polled in February 2021 Said They Planned to Hold Bitcoin as a Corporate Asset in 2021

 While bitcoin continues to grow in popularity, a poll of 77 finance executives (including 50 CFOs) this month showed that 84% of respondents said they did not plan to ever hold bitcoin as a corporate asset, according to Gartner, Inc

“Eighty-four percent of the respondents said that bitcoin’s volatility posed a financial risk,” said Alexander Bant, chief of research in the Gartner Finance practice. “It would be extremely difficult to mitigate the kind of price swings seen in the cryptocurrency in the last five years.”

Volatility was the top concern by a large margin, but other big issues that respondents had were board risk aversion, slow adoption as an accepted form of payment, regulatory concerns, and a lack of expertise in cryptocurrencies (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Top 3 Concerns for an Organization to Hold Bitcoin

“There are a lot of unresolved issues when it comes to the use of bitcoin as a corporate asset,” said Mr. Bant. “It’s unlikely that adoption will increase rapidly until we get more clarity on these challenges.”

Seventy-one percent of respondents said one of the top things they’d like to know is what others are actually doing with bitcoin. Sixty-eight percent want to hear more from regulators about bitcoin and better understand the risks involved with holding it.

“It’s important to remember this is a nascent phenomenon in the long timeline of corporate assets,” said Mr. Bant. “Finance leaders who are tasked with ensuring financial stability are not prone to making speculative leaps into unknown territory.”

Even the 16% of respondents willing to adopt the cryptocurrency as part of their organization’s financial strategy appeared in no rush. Five percent of respondents indicated they would begin to hold bitcoin in 2021, 1% said they’d hold bitcoin at some point in 2022-2023, and the remaining 9% who indicated they would begin holding bitcoin said it would be 2024 or later.

There was no difference in intent to hold bitcoin between small organizations (<$1Bn revenue) and large organizations (>$1Bn revenue). Fifty percent of respondents from the technology sector anticipate holding the cryptocurrency in the future. Private company finance executives were less favorable towards bitcoin with just 7% saying they would ever hold it.

Gartner clients can hear more details by registering for the following webinar: Panel Discussion: The Top 10 Finance Benchmark Metrics for 2021

Non clients can learn more about the digital future of finance here: Digital Future of Finance.

CFOs and finance leaders can participate in Gartner research and get complementary access by joining the Gartner Research Circle.

About the Gartner Finance Practice
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Rob van der Meulen
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