A little over a week ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers announced their venture into the world of blockchain technology and distributed ledgers. Many Bitcoin community members saw this announcement as a vote of confidence by PwC, although there were still some questions as to how they planned to integrate the technology. One of their strategic partners will be none other than Blockstream, a well-known company in the digital currency ecosystem.
PwC & Blockstream Ink Strategic Partnership
While disruption of existing infrastructure can happen unexpectedly, one of the world’s “Big Four” accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is planning to do it from within. Many people may not like the negative connotation associated with the term “disruption,” but in reality, it is just another word for much-needed overhaul and innovation.
PwC acknowledges the potential of blockchain and distributed ledgers, as there are many benefits to gain from embracing this innovative solution. This form of technology can serve multiple purposes: improving the existing financial system as we know it, and creating new and exciting applications we have yet to discover.
By partnering with Blockstream, PwC is looking to help its clients by working together on existing solutions, as well as develop new tools and platforms to suit customer needs in the future. Getting a competitive edge over other companies is a key component for success in the financial sector.
Most people active in the digital currency ecosystem will have heard the name Blockstream before, as the company is well known for bringing blockchain technology to companies all over the world. Combining this know-how with the vast experience PwC brings to the table, should yield some innovative results in the next few years. Interoperable sidechains, for example, extend the Bitcoin protocol to allow for future applications and platforms to leverage distributed ledger technology outside of the realm of digital currencies.
PwC’s Partner Haskell S. Garfinkel stated:
For our clients, understanding new world applications of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, adapting it for myriad uses, and using it optimally are critical to improving financial security, efficiency and compliance. PwC is teaming with Blockstream to offer our joint knowledge and capabilities to clients – giving them one place to go, maximizing expertise, talent, and assets from both organizations.
This strategic partnership between PwC and Blockstream sets a tone for 2016. Implementing distributed ledger technology in existing financial markets will not happen overnight, though. But with so many bright minds combining their thoughts, expertise, and ideas, full-scale implementation is just a matter of time.
Global Expansion for Distributed Ledger Integration
Blockstream’s technology has been introduced to companies all over the world so far. PwC wants to focus their attention on the US, Asia, and Europe, for the time being. Furthermore, these two companies are actively pursuing leads to being distributed ledger technology to both financial and other sectors.
“Now there is growing interest and a real demand from our clients to help understand the implications of blockchain and how to respond to it,” explained Steve Davies, PwC partner and EMEA FinTech Leader, during a recent announcement of their new global technology team. “So, as the blockchain juggernaut continues to gather pace, PwC will be well placed to service our clients’ needs at a global level.” He added:
We are confident that these disruptive FinTech technologies will trigger a huge increase in demand for blockchain expertise and we intend to be a leader in exploiting these disruptive new technologies.
By diverting part of the focus beyond the world of Bitcoin, Blockstream can gain valuable knowledge and experience from other industries. However, the company is not losing track of Bitcoin any time soon, as their commercial sidechain is being used by various exchange platforms all over the world.
PwC opens the door for Blockstream to bring new features to both the Bitcoin world and traditional finance, as well as explore other areas of innovation. The full potential of distributed ledger technology is waiting to be unlocked, and strategic partnerships like these will go a long way in achieving that goal.
What are your thoughts on this partnership between PwC and Blockstream? What kind of projects can we expect in 2016 and beyond? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Blockstream, PwC