Big Four accounting organization KPMG says the cryptocurrency market needs to improve how it secures digital assets in order for the industry to continue growing. 

According to a report by Bloomberg on Mar. 2, the Big Four auditor said digital assets are vulnerable to lax security and weak code while pointing out the “tremendous opportunity to profit” for industry custodians. 

The firm released a report on Monday claiming at least $9.8 billion in digital assets have been stolen by hackers since 2017 as a direct result of inadequate security or poorly written code. The KPMG report called the safeguarding of tokens more important than ever.

Sal Ternullo, co-leader of KPMG’s crypto-assets services and co-author of the report, said in a statement, 

Institutional investors especially will not risk owning crypto assets if their value cannot be safeguarded in the same way their cash, stocks and bonds are.

The report highlighted the opportunity for institutions to profit from custodial services, 

As crypto-assets proliferate, custodians have a tremendous opportunity to profit — both by earning management fees for delivering straightforward custodian services, and also by offering adjacent services only possible in the emerging crypto ecosystem.

Fidelity Investments was one of the first companies to offer custody services for crypto, followed by Coinbase, Gemini and the crypto division of Intercontinental Exchange Inc.

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