Big Four accounting firm EY is back in blockchain world headlines this week, this time for joining forces with some of Europe’s most recognizable institutions in having begun work on a blockchain platform for settlements involving European Commercial Papers (ECPs).
Announced by the initiative’s members on Wednesday, the collaboration entails an already developed “proof of value” being built out. EY is linking up with Spanish commercial banking giant Banco Santander, the European Union’s lending institution the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Belgian financial services company Euroclear in the effort.
The group’s express goal? to create an “end-to-end blockchain solution for the issuance and settlement” of ECPs.
Also known as eurocommercial papers, ECPs are unsecured debt instruments denominated in a different currency than the reigning currency of its issuer’s country. And now the major European institutions involved have concluded they can make the markets around these instruments considerably more efficient via blockchain technology.
The aforementioned proof of value grew out of a proof of concept that EY’s coders rode to victory during the EIB Blockchain Challenge last June. The PoC entailed leveraging blockchain tech to streamline issuances and exchanges between the EIB and the institution’s counterparties.
The matured platform is set to reduce wait times and transaction costs, providing superior auditability around ECP operations all the while. The system’s designer, EY Senior Manager Angel Pavlov, suggested the solution was one well worth pursuing:
“Following EY winning the EIB Blockchain Challenge, we are pleased to validate our solution on a larger scale. Further development of this innovative blockchain case is in line with our commitment to consistently bring more value to the business through innovation.”
For their part, EY’s latest foray into blockchain comes on the heels of the firm recently becoming something of a darling in the cryptoeconomy. That’s because the accounting powerhouse released their Nightfall privacy tool for Ethereum into the public domain last month.
The company, whose blockchain team is comprised of some 200 developers, built the tool as a way for large enterprises to be able to transact on the public Ethereum blockchain while ensuring their transaction details would remain private. The tech uses zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to achieve such privacy.
Many corners of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, particurarly the Ethereum community, saw the tool’s release as a goodwill gift to the cause of digital currencies. EY characterized the publication as a way to get enterprises using blockchain solutions more readily.
“Big Four” PwC Publishes Cryptocurrency Auditing Software
PwC, another member of the so-called Big Four accounting firms alongside EY, announced on Wednesday the company had added cryptocurrency auditing capabilities to its Halo auditing tool suite.
Accordingly, Halo users can now access the suite’s “assurance services” for activity around bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), Ethereum tokens (ERC20), litecoin (LTC), and XRP. The solution also supports analyzing the blockchains of smaller Bitcoin forks in Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG).
Part of these services will allow clients to analyze private-public key pairings so as to help “establish ownership of cryptocurrency,” the company explained.
Commenting on the news, PwC Global Assurance Leader James Chalmers cast the cryptocurrency update as a response to the general trend of digitization, as more of society’s activities — including money — is going online:
“It is important as companies continue to digitise we, as auditors, keep up with technology changes in the market, continue to develop audit tools that meet the needs of emerging technologies and serve the changing and developing demands of our stakeholders.”
One thing’s clear enough, then: with PwC and EY increasingly zooming in, some of the world’s biggest money minders are seriously eyeing blockchain and cryptocurrency tech.