ISAE stands for International Standard on Engagement. It is an internationally recognized standard issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, IAASB. A handbook provided by the IAASB explains that the ISAE standard deals with assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information.
In bringing this definition of the ISAE to the present case, it means that Netagio would open its processes to scrutiny on how well the company measures up in the management and storage of their customers’ bitcoins. The scrutiny was conducted in the form of an audit by BDO LLP, a professional services firm based in the UK. The audit measured the quality of assurance work, including report verification, corporate governance, internal compliance and other areas key to corporate responsibility.
Netagio directors had identified and set up certain control objectives before the audit. The audit sought to first understand the setup of the Bitcoin storage environment. After that the audit evaluated and tested the design of the control objectives to ensure that they were operation as at the close of May 2014. The BDO LLP audit found that Netagio had adequate control mechanisms in place that ensured the security of the bitcoins in its possession.
Further, BDO LLP found that Netagio’s bitcoin, gold and sterling exchange had been designed to meet the highest compliance requirements and standards of other registered financial exchanges. Netagio is compliant with the European Payment Services Directive, which has strict anti-money laundering regulations, thorough ‘Know Your Customer’ requirements and continuous exchange and trade monitoring surveillance.
Netagio’s CEO, Simon Hamblin said,
“We are delighted to have our Bitcoin storage environment be positively assessed in line with the ISAE 3000 standard. This latest recognition reinforces our commitment to growing our secure, peer-to-peer exchange platform on which to trade Bitcoin, gold and sterling, and is a stepping stone towards maturity in the community of companies operating in the Bitcoin space. As the Bitcoin economy is gathering pace, with various jurisdictions considering regulatory frameworks, any steps we can take to achieve internationally recognized standards and assurances will give further credibility to Bitcoin’s place in financial and retail industries.”
George Quigley, Partner at BDO, comments,
“As a Bitcoin exchange, it’s important for Netagio to be able to assure customers that the relevant controls are in place for the Bitcoin storage environment. It is good to see Netagio leading the way for the industry by commissioning an external assurance review.”
The availability of a standard such as the ISAE 3000 should come as good news to bitcoin investors. With bitcoin use becoming more and more widespread, the focus will inevitably turn to the security of digital assets.
Several high profile cases in 2014 involving theft of bitcoin and hacking of bitcoin exchanges have been highlighted by the mainstream media. In the (in)famous case of Mt. Gox, 850,000 bitcoin were stolen from the Tokyo-based exchange.
Also read: MtGox appears to be insolvent
Bitcoin exchanges that implement standards such as the ISAE 3000 can help their investors and customers rest a tad easier, safe in the knowledge that the company has adequate controls to reduce the risk of a “bit-heist” such as has been previously mentioned above.
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