“Big 4” auditor to start accepting crypto payments

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the quartet that make up the world’s “big four” auditing firms, is ready to take its blockchain and cryptocurrency involvement to a new level. It has already shown support in the past, such as the introduction of auditing tools for the Bitcoin community, and is now turning to crypto payments as it continues to embrace the future. Specifically, PwC Luxembourg will begin accepting payments in Bitcoin Core (BTC) starting at the beginning of next month. 

PwC Luxembourg announced the step in a press release on Monday, adding that the move acknowledges “the needs of clients and the willingness of the Luxembourgish Firm to support the growing national crypto ecosystem.” The firm explains that it recognizes the power of the underlying technology as a “medium to long-term standard in the economy” and is happy to be an early adopter. The decision is also a reflection on the wishes of PwC’s clients, many of whom have wanted a crypto payment solution in order to have a secure payment alternative. 

The company’s Director, Blockchain & Crypto-assets Leader, Thomas Campione, provided his own take on the decision, stating, “As part of the Firm’s market assessment, what quickly became clear is that we could not continue to invest in the field, promote it, build solutions for clients and support their transformation while not also being exposed to it. Our role is to lead and it is only by being an active leader with exposure that we at PwC Luxembourg can understand the challenges inherent to the crypto world. It is very difficult to properly appreciate the challenges of AML/KYC-enhanced [anti-money laundering/know your customer] due diligence in a world made of public/private keys, with the complexity and risks of custodial solutions, or to comprehend the decentralised finance ecosystem growing ‘next door’ without being exposed to it in its day-to-day activities.”

The integration of crypto payments is a “building block” of PwC’s strategy to offer its own branded blockchain products. Among these are the audit tools mentioned earlier, as well as smart trace and smart credentials, other products the global auditing company is introducing and which will help businesses facilitate the transition from traditionally-led operations to blockchain-led solutions.

The company’s CEO and territory senior partner, John Parkhouse, adds, “The development of blockchain technology, and the emergence of a new decentralised economy supported by the rise of crypto-assets, are heavily reliant on an individual’s ability to understand the disruptive and pervasive impact of these new concepts. Even more importantly, it depends on the ability of the ecosystem to move synchronously. Upskilling will be key and the capacity to build and grow the ecosystem will be at least as important to harvest the true benefits of the technology. This is true whether it is about dramatic cost-saving through process streamlining, improvement of social capital due to new decentralized business models, or by unlocking hidden-value currently stuck in the economy through tokenisation.”

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