Recently, PwC Strategy & Partner & EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) blockchain leader, Dr Daniel Diemer from Switzerland, who is crypto-friendly, attended the 2019 Singapore WBF Conference and Received an exclusive interview with Babbitt.
In an interview, Daniel introduced PwC's blockchain layout and expressed his views on the challenges facing the blockchain. In addition, he also gave his own judgment on the status of the cryptocurrency market, stable currency, ICO, IEO and STO. Of course, there is also the hottest topic today – Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra. He also said that under his leadership, PricewaterhouseCoopers will issue a new report on emerging financing methods such as ICO.
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1. Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Daniel Diemer, from Switzerland. I am currently the head of EMEA blockchain at PricewaterhouseCoopers. I entered the blockchain field in 2014, and I was involved in FinTech before.
2. What does the blockchain mean for PricewaterhouseCoopers?
Blockchain in the financial services industry
In the financial services arena, blockchain can have a huge impact, and such services are highly digital and often involve large amounts of data. If the infrastructure services you provide involve various types of databases, you may need to maintain them separately, but if you pass the blockchain, you can maintain them through a decentralized network. For the audit industry, the blockchain can make the business easier.
Blockchain in the accounting industry
Blockchain technology can make work easier, tradable bookkeeping and accounting accounting, and you can transfer these records to blockchains where records cannot be changed. This will certainly make the work easier, but it also adds to the technology. The accounting work based on paper and pen decades ago has now become digital, and the accounting profession has become more specialized.
3. What blockchain work is PwC currently working on?
We built all kinds of blocks based on the blockchain and created our own auditable blockchain Vulcan. PwC has a large number of professionals around the world who conduct research on all aspects of the blockchain, including tax, legal, audit, insurance, etc., to audit all of this public information. In countries such as Switzerland, we have the ability to work on various blockchains.
4. As one of the “Big Four”, what challenges did PricewaterhouseCoopers encounter in developing blockchain business?
The entire blockchain industry is still very young, at an early stage, there are many interesting blockchain projects that are not used, such as EOS, China's NEO, etc. For us, we will treat all blockchains fairly, we need See which blockchain is more popular with customers. Whether it's HyperLedger or Ethereum, we need to understand the differences between all these blockchains so that we can do more research in the future.
5. What kind of blockchain companies are PwC currently working on in the blockchain business?
We currently work with Microsoft, Google, and Superbooks. PwC has 260,000 employees worldwide. We work with many technology giants. This is a business need. We sometimes work with many small businesses, and if those companies' businesses allow us to help our customers, we also work with them.
6. What are the blockchains currently involved in PwC's business?
We provide auditing and insurance services to blockchain companies, and we also provide STO services to help them start STO. We also provide strategies for companies, including banks, and if banks want to use cryptocurrencies, we will provide them with relevant services. Banks really like cryptocurrencies. In Switzerland, about 10 banks allow cryptocurrencies. Our team has members responsible for the cryptocurrency business.
PwC is working with Stabilizing Coin, so what about Libra, the stable currency of Facebook that has recently been on the fire?
7. According to previous reports, PricewaterhouseCoopers has cooperated with the stable currency company Cred. What do you think about the development of stable currency?
Yes, we are involved in the research work of their stable coins. However, I do not agree with the term "stable currency" because they are "unstable" and they are essentially associated with something, such as fiat currency. From an economic point of view, this title is wrong. However, this concept is very interesting. For example, Facebook's Libra is also adopting the same approach, and they want Libra to avoid excessive volatility. Higher stability is good for cryptocurrencies, and users may prefer stability. The emergence of Libra, the participation of technology giants is conducive to the development of the entire industry, we need some big projects, need a lot of support, and need talent participation. However, Libra is only releasing a white paper and it is not yet online. I think there will be many changes when it is actually online. Overall, I think it will have a big impact on the industry ecosystem.
Traditional institutions are discouraged from cryptocurrencies. Why is PwC actively embracing?
8. In China, there are coins and chain circles. Which do you think you and PwC belong to?
I think it belongs to both. As an economist, I am more interested in coins. Because of my profession, we study the future development of French currency, sometimes in the form of currency or cryptocurrency. Chains, blockchains, are attractive technologies, but there are many different use cases for coins and chains.
9. Do you have some cryptocurrency investments?
Haha, I can't comment on this, but I have entered this ecology since 2014, so… (you know).
10. Bitcoin has exceeded $10,000. What do you think of the current cryptocurrency market?
The cryptocurrency is still in its early stages, and Bitcoin has the longest history, but many cryptocurrencies have been created in the past two years. I am curious about how many kinds of cryptocurrencies we have, how many kinds we need, and this will be a very dynamic field. The central bank now wants to issue cryptocurrencies, which may convince those who don't trust cryptocurrencies and change their perception of cryptocurrencies. I think the market will ultimately decide which cryptocurrency is the most successful.
11. PricewaterhouseCoopers has published a lot of reports on ICO. What do you think of ICO?
We did publish a lot of ICO reports, but I am responsible for this part, and we have a report to release next week. After experiencing the cryptocurrency winter, we have seen the ICO sector pick up in the past six months. In addition, STO will become a major event. At the same time, we also see IEOs of various exchanges (City, Bitfinex), which is an innovative crowdfunding model. I don't think IEO will take the ICO's old path. IEO will be more popular than ICO because IEO has an exchange endorsed by the exchange to provide credit guarantees for investors.
12. Regulators have always disliked ICO, IEO, etc. What are the challenges companies face when engaging in these activities?
I think KYC and AML are a must. Without these you can't do ICO or STO because these are regulated. I don't think there will be many ICO projects without KYC in the future. You can take a look at Libra's white paper, and they also say "we are the percent lily rule." However, these things can still be done privately or anonymously, and private blockchain distributions will still exist, but they will not be supported in the wider economy, especially if the government does not support them. In Switzerland, if you do not complete KYC and AML, you cannot start ICO, STO or IEO, and banks are not allowed.
13. At present, many regulators are discussing the regulation of cryptocurrencies. What do you think?
I believe that ultimately governments will decide how to regulate, whether it is allowed, prohibited or restricted. Each country has its own supervision, because at present we do not have a unified international regulatory standard. We do not have the BIS and FATA regulations, and countries need to supervise themselves.