Accounting in the Age of Bitcoin

Susan O'Neill, CEO

Apr 23, 2024

When Accountancy Ledgers Meet the Lightning Network

What happens when the age-old practice of accounting collides with the cutting edge technology of the Lightning network? Although often not everyone’s favorite subject, accounting remains a critical element for any business. Within the Lightning ecosystem accountancy presents unique challenges, largely due to the fact that traditional accounting software isn't equipped to handle Bitcoin, or to integrate with Lightning services.

A new approach is needed - rethinking how financial systems interact with Lightning platforms is no longer optional. In this blog, we’ll explore how businesses can navigate these waters, ensuring financial accuracy and compliance in an era where transactions are executed at lightning speed.

Our Journey: From Financial Frustration to Lightning Innovation

Years working in finance taught me that money movement is too slow, too expensive and staggeringly inefficient …. Lightning is the solution to all these problems, which is why we founded Sulu. Building on the Lightning network means working with payment rails that settle fully in seconds… I think the enormity of the ‘settle fully’ aspect has yet to be fully grasped by those working in traditional finance! The ground breaking work by the folks at Lightning labs has paved the way for companies like Sulu to join the ecosystem. Utilizing Voltage as our infrastructure provider has allowed us to build at an incredible pace and focus on areas where we know we can truly make a difference

Speed and Simplicity: How we are changing the game for API Monetization

At Sulu we believe the future of API monetization has already arrived. Our team is united in a vision to truly revolutionize usage based API Monetization, by bringing benefits to both API providers and their end users. API providers can finally monetize their APIs in limitless ways - no dream too big, no transaction too small! There are no minimum transaction charges, and no one is excluded. We are opening up API access to everyone globally, regardless of their ability to obtain a bank account... While those with the financial privilege of being able to open a bank account can leverage powerful AI tools, those without traditional banking services have lagged behind. That changes now. Check out what our incredible CTO Sam just released here as he makes this technology accessible to anyone that has access to a lightning wallet (super proud!)

Feature Spotlight: The Sulu Finance Dashboard

There is no doubt that Lightning will revolutionize how money moves on the internet… but how do we take this incredible technology mainstream? The benefits of Lightning are undeniable, but in order to onboard new customers we need features that make Lightning easier to embed into the existing financial architecture of companies everywhere. One area we have seen significant interest from our customers is in the accounting aspect of our solution at Sulu. 

Imagine seeing your API revenue in real time? The Sulu financial dashboard does just that, displaying revenue in both Bitcoin and USD instantly with the rate feed updated every 30 seconds via Brave New Coins BLX index for Bitcoin. In the Sulu financial dashboard users can select their required time period - then simply click on the ‘list Invoices’ button to get a drilldown of their transactions. Our platform is designed to enhance financial visibility and control. For each transaction, we display the value in sats, the fiat value at the time of the transaction, and the fiat value at today's rate. This detailed presentation enables accountants to easily compare the current market value of their Bitcoin against their historical transaction values. Such comparisons are not only crucial for assessing the financial health and performance of the business, but also instrumental in preparing accurate Fair Value Accounting adjustments. By integrating these features, we ensure that financial professionals have the tools they need to manage disclosure requirements effectively, making calculations straightforward, and necessary information easy to find. 

The recent decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to adopt Fair Value Accounting for Bitcoin marks a significant advancement in financial reporting. This  move aligns the accounting standards with the dynamic nature of Bitcoin, offering a more accurate reflection of its value. At Sulu, we applaud this development and have proactively integrated features into our platform that facilitate easy compliance. Our tools simplify the disclosure requirements and streamline the calculation process, significantly easing the burden on accounting teams. With Sulu, users can effortlessly navigate this new landscape.

Accurate data is the cornerstone of precise tax calculations, enabling businesses and individuals to accurately assess the true profit or loss from each transaction is a fundamental aspect of tax compliance. At Sulu, we are committed to delivering a platform that provides comprehensive and detailed data for every Bitcoin transaction. This functionality significantly simplifies the tax preparation process. This level of accuracy is crucial for minimizing errors, thereby saving valuable time and significantly reducing risk for our users.

Tackling The Microtransaction Dilemma: Sulu's Approach

The Lightning network renders traditional payment rails obsolete, especially when it comes to microtransactions. Traditional payment rails with fixed fees per transaction, are unable to cope with microtransactions… in many cases fixed fees are higher than the transaction itself! Similarly, the accounting landscape struggles to cope with microtransactions - journal entries for a large volume of very low transactions often do not make sense. Sulu’s financial dashboard enables users to download transactions and batch upload accounting entries - full accounting integrations are on the horizon… the day is coming where accountancy software solutions everywhere will give you the ability to run a trial balance in Bitcoin and Fiat. Watch this space!

Join the Financial Revolution: Help Us Innovate and Integrate!

At Sulu, simplifying the accounting of Lightning transactions is central to our mission. It is super easy for anyone using our platform to assess the financial performance of their APIs in seconds. We are dedicated to ensuring our products and features enhance the accounting process - join us on this journey!  Do you have ideas, thoughts, or requests for epic new accounting features? Reach out at Help us shape the future of the accounting features we build at Sulu!