The Luxembourg branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers (doing business as PwC) announced on Monday (September 2) that it is “stepping further into blockchain and crypto-assets by accepting Bitcoin payments from its clients as from 1 October 2019,”
PwC is “a multinational professional services network with headquarters in London, United Kingdom,” and it “ranks as the second largest professional services firm in the world.” PwC is one of the Big Four accounting firms (along with KPMG, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte).
PwC Luxembourg’s press release says that this move acknowledges the needs of its clients and the increasing adoption of crypto in Luxembourg.
The press release goes on to say that throughout its life, Bitcoin has “kept its promise as the first peer-to-peer payment mechanism that cannot be compromised and is based on a decentralised trust model.”
The Luxembourg firm says that it “strongly believes in the underlying technology as a medium to long-term standard in the economy and strives to position itself as an early adopter.”
Thomas Campione, Blockchain and Crypto-assets Leader at PwC Luxembourg, had this to say:
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 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 team led by Campione “mixes traditional business representatives (Assurance, Advisory and Tax) with pure blockchain developers and technical team members,” and its purpose is “to support existing and future clients in their blockchain and crypto-assets journey, to bridge between traditional and decentralised business, and between incumbents and blockchain and/or crypto-born players.”
John Parkhouse, Territory Senior Partner and CEO of PwC Luxembourg, stated:
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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