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PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the Big Four audit firms, has announced that it is piloting a new blockchain-based platform for confirming the trustworthiness of employee credentials.
The trial is being done in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).
On February 13, PwC unveiled “Smart Credentials” platform that uses blockchain to issue, store and safely share digital certificates related to professional qualifications of employees.
Many organisations spend significant amounts of time and money every year contacting universities and institutions to double check qualifications listed on CVs so for them, this new blockchain platform offers both reduced risk and costs.
Steve Davies, global blockchain leader at PwC, commented:
“The ability to prove your identity online is critical in today’s digital world and the same is true of the qualifications you hold. We’re seeing high demand for verified, trusted and irrefutable identities from many different types of organisations, but a common challenge for employers is ensuring that an applicant holds the credentials listed on their CV.”
In order to conduct the trial in partnership with ICAS, PwC employees, who have successfully completed their chartered accountancy course in the last two years, are being given digital certificates uploaded on the blockchain. The certificates will also become part of the unique digital wallet offered to those who have completed the chartered accountant course.
Davies also explained that he thinks that blockchain was designed to allow participants to share data without needing intermediaries.
“No one party has central ownership, so individuals get more control over their personal data. In this first project with ICAS, the data is a Chartered Accountant certificate, but you can also see the potential in any case where credentials are earned and continually updated – such as medical professionals, pilots or safety engineers.”
Bruce Cartwright, chief executive of ICAS, said:
“Data protection is arguably one of the most enduring challenges of our time. Our newly-qualified chartered accountant members involved in this trial can now take control of their personal data by replacing the paper-based certificate with a secure digital version.
‘Not only this, but the technology allows instant verification of their credentials, putting an end to the back-and-forth involved in establishing good standing and ensuring our members can get on with their jobs.”
It can be remembered that Japanese multinational company Sony and IT equipment services firm Fujitsu announced their intention to pilot blockchain for improving the integrity of educational course documents and information on students’ grade.
PwC continues to make huge progress in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector worldwide. The company has already invested in VeChain, a China-based IoT blockchain network. Additionally, the company has also set up an in-house cryptocurrency accelerator program and blockchain for its employees who are more than 1000 in number.
Government-backed Blockchain Accelerator
We already wrote of Singapore’s friendliness towards the blockchain technology where the leading government agency responsible for startups development announced its support for a new blockchain accelerator program dubbed Tribe Accelerator.
Enterprise Singapore together with South Korea’s ICON Foundation and PwC Singapore’s Venture Hub partnered a Singapore-based VC firm, TRIVE Ventures for this incentive.
The program is scheduled to officially launch in early 2019. Tribe Accelerator will accumulate a batch of eight large-scale blockchain projects providing them with first-class business mentors, technical support, technical talent, global exposure through a series of web contents and a global demo tour across Singapore, South Korea, and Japan and more to follow.