PwC Experiments with a New Blockchain-Based Platform

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), is experimenting with its new blockchain-powered platform ‘Smart Credentials’ for ensuring the integrity of employee credentials. The experiment, launched in partnership with Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), was announced in a PwC press release published on February 28.

According to the report, PwC’s ‘Smart Credentials’ utilizes blockchain to store, share and verify the employee credentials safely.

Steve T Davies, Global Blockchain Leader at PwC posted on Twitter

Smart Credentials platform is being trialed by PwC staff who have qualified as chartered accountants with the ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) in last two years.

Every year, many organizations spend significant amounts of time and money consulting universities and institutions to cross-check qualifications listed on CVs for them, this new blockchain-based platform offers both reduced risk and costs.

Smart Credentials platform benefits three types of users: Issuer, Owner and Reviewer.

Issuer (Issues credential)

  • Reduces the burden of issuance, reissuance and verification of credentials.
  • Smaller infrastructure as there are no requirements to store credentials.

Owner (Shares credential)

  • Candidates have a system to show their credentials.
  • Easy to store and share credentials in real time, via a wallet.
  • Can choose to allow and revoke reviewer’s visibility of credentials, bypassing manual process.

Reviewer (Views credential)

  • Can eliminate expenses associated with verification processes.
  • Can be sure that the credentials are authentic.

According to the press report, Steve T Davies, Global Blockchain Leader at PwC stated:

“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.”

PwC is modifying the way professionals share their credentials by using blockchain technology. The technology facilitates in issuing staff with digital versions of their certifications, stored in virtual wallets.

Bruce Cartwright, chief executive of ICAS, said in the release: “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.”

SMART CREDENTIALS PLATFORM ALLOWS INSTANT VERIFICATION OF THE CANDIDATES' CREDENTIALS, WHICH HELPS IN SAVING THE COST AND TIME-CONSUMING VERIFICATION PROCESS

Cartwright further explained that the platform allows instant verification of the candidates’ credentials, thereby saving the cost and time-consuming process of verification.

Recently, SoftBank and TBCASoft, a US-based blockchain technology firm for telecoms, collaborated to utilize the latter’s application framework called the ‘Cross Carrier Identification System’ (CCIS), to enable blockchain-based identification and authorization services.

Due to digitization, we can see that many areas of our daily activities are going paperless from bank statements and e-tickets to household bills and more; now with PwC’s Smart Credentials platform, individuals can obtain certificates and validate their qualifications.