Search Results for: blockchain

EY Makes Massive Investment in Blockchain Analyzer

Big 4 firm EY has announced the launch of the second generation of EY Blockchain Analyzer, a blockchain analytics tool, at the annual EY Global Blockchain Summit on April 16.

The summit featured a first-time demo of the full range of EY blockchain solutions and an overview of the technology’s integration across industries.

EY has made multi-million dollar investments into developing the second generation of the EY Blockchain Analyzer, which is expected to be available for use by EY teams in 2019 for clients who operate in the blockchain ecosystem. These developments include the support of multiple new cryptocurrencies on the platform, added functionality relevant to private and public blockchains, and a globally accessible and available platform.

Paul Brody, EY’s global innovation leader for blockchain, says, “With the second generation of EY Blockchain Analyzer, we are building a true platform solution that can be used for multiple purposes such as audit, tax and transaction monitoring, depending on client needs. From the start, we have had technologists and audit practitioners working together on this platform so we can keep our technology and audit methodology aligned and meet our professional standards.”

EY Blockchain Analyzer will provide evidence for audits in various sectors. In addition to transaction analysis, the new version of EY Blockchain Analyzer will support tax calculation for crypto-assets. EY will gradually expand the geographic coverage for tax calculation globally after the 2019 tax year.

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Armanino Brings Trust-as-a-Service (TaaS) to Blockchain

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has partnered with TrustToken to build a solution that will add transparency and trust to digital assets.

As a global leader in digitizing assets that can be seamlessly and securely exchanged across liquid markets, TrustToken and its TrueUSD® stablecoin cryptocurrency can be monitored via a dashboard hosted by Armanino. The solution connects directly to third-party escrow accounts holding the U.S. dollars that collateralize TrueUSD tokens, and runs its own ETH nodes to ensure accuracy of the outstanding TrueUSD token supply.

“Blockchain technology is all about enabling us to transact in a trustless peer-to-peer way. It’s important to us to build products that further advance this mission,” says Andries Verschelden, PIC of Armanino’s blockchain practice. “Through our dashboard we will create direct transparency into the marketplace and increase trust for all users, thus allowing a wider adaptation of this important product.”

“This sets a new standard not only for stablecoins, but for all tokenized assets in the future,” says Rafael Cosman, co-founder and head of engineering and product at TrustToken. “With real-time confirmation of funds provided by one of the world’s leading accounting firms, traders will know at all times that their tokens are backed by real-world value.”

Continuous attest has long been a goal within the audit profession, and this proprietary, real-time dashboard offering complete transparency regarding how digital assets are backed is a step in this direction, TrustToken says. The firm is developing programmatic approaches for auditing and attesting on underlying assets, whether fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, precious metals, real estate or debt obligations.

“At Armanino we want to advance the audit function into the digital age. This means relying on technology to increase speed and effectiveness in bringing trust to our community,” says Scott Copeland, PIC of Armanino’s audit practice.

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Armanino Launches Blockchain Practice

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has announced a new blockchain practice, which will offer a range of services for businesses interested in using the burgeoning technology.

“Blockchain technology and crypto assets have the potential to become a high impact innovation that brings value and security to businesses, and with a growing number of our clients currently in the space, it made sense to assemble a team well-versed in this new technology,” says Andries Verschelden, partner and blockchain practice leader.

The firm describes blockchain a technology that increases trust among customers, vendors and third parties through “transparent, secure and immutable transactions.”

The blockchain practice offers strategy, assurance and systems implementation solutions for businesses, including:

  • Proof of Concept – Assessments for blockchain, including distributed ledgers, permissioned blockchains, hybrid solutions and permission-less blockchains.
  • Design and Implementation – Full vendor selection, functional and technical design, configuration, testing, user training, system integration and ongoing support.
  • Security Review and Monitoring – Assurance on digital assets on the balance sheet, high-volume digital currency transactions, custodial holdings, smart contract and enterprise blockchain environments. Armanino was among the first to complete financial statement audits for clients with high digital asset transaction volumes.
  • Cryptocurrency On-Ramp – Crypto readiness systems review, crypto-specific accounting solution selection and implementation, technical accounting guidance, custody solutions, cold storage controls environment consulting, and digital asset tax strategy and process design.

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RSM Names National Leader of Blockchain Services

Jay Schulman

Jay Schulman

Chicago-based RSM US LLP (FY18 net revenue of $2.14 billion) announces that Jay Schulman, a principal based out of the firm’s Chicago office, has been named national leader of blockchain and cryptocurrency services for RSM US LLP.

In this role, Schulman is responsible for leading RSM’s efforts to help its clients account for the complex regulatory, tax and trade, auditability, risk and compliance implications related to global transactions and exchanges. He has authored numerous related articles designed to help middle market business leaders anticipate and address the unique issues and challenges facing their businesses and the industries in which they operate.

“At RSM, we understand that the pace of change in today’s increasingly global business environment creates unique challenges and opportunities for business leaders, particularly those in the middle market,” said Jeff Johannesen, chief strategy and innovation officer with RSM US LLP. “While large business leaders typically have the resources to anticipate and address evolving needs, middle market businesses often need the support of a trusted advisor, and that’s particularly true when it comes to major technological advances.”

Schulman says, “Blockchain is now a reality. At RSM, we have a unique understanding of how this and other emerging technologies and evolving regulations will impact the middle market.”

Blockchain Payments Trial Gets 75 New Bank Participants

A major blockchain payments trial launched by JPMorgan, Australia’s ANZ and the Royal Bank of Canada has just gained over 75 new banks as participants, CoinDesk reported.

The three banks set up the project in October 2017, with the intention to slash both the time and costs required for interbank payments using traditional methods.

Called the Interbank Information Network (IIN), the platform is built on Quorum, the ethereum-based blockchain network developed by JPMorgan.

The Financial Times (FT) on Tuesday reported that a large group of major banks – including Societe Generale and Santander – has joined the trial in response to the rising number of rival payments offerings coming to market.

Jason Goldberg, banks analyst at JPMorgan, told the FT that payments is an area in which banks are most threatened by non-bank competition, adding: “Blockchain is a way to keep more of that [business] in-house.”

In particular, the trial seeks to address payments that contain errors or get held up for compliance reasons – problems that can takes weeks to solve with multiple banks being involved across the payments chain.

The effort will now see the banks transact payments to the value of around $14,500 per day over IIN, although that number is expected to increase as new banks join.

EisnerAmper Joins Accounting Blockchain Coalition

EisnerAmper Risk Solutions, a subsidiary of New York-based EisnerAmper (FY18 net revenue of $360 million), announces that it has joined the Accounting Blockchain Coalition (ABC).

The ABC is dedicated to educating businesses and organizations on accounting matters relevant to digital assets and distributed ledger technology, including blockchain. As an ABC member, EisnerAmper will collaborate with other industry leaders to work on issues impacting the accounting industry, publish a set of best practices, help develop guidelines and more. The ABC is working to evolve into the primary industry resource and community for organizations involved with blockchains in accounting.

“We’re excited to join the ABC,” says EisnerAmper Partner Alan Frank. “It further establishes our firm in the blockchain space, and it offers our specialists a variety of valuable resources for us to stay on the leading edge of blockchain in the accounting and tax areas, which will benefit our clients tremendously.”

EY Buys Crypto-Assets Tax Tool to Audit Blockchains

In an effort to expand blockchain-related services, Ernst & Young (EY) has acquired crypto-related technology assets, which include the Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax (CAAT) technology, according to CCN.com.

The technology, developed by San Francisco-based Elevated Consciousness, links with multiple cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges and improves transparency of transactions and inventory.

EY says the CAAT tool will allow the firm to serve various organizations that are adopting crypto-assets by helping them better assess the risk associated with the reporting of taxable income for crypto assets.

“We plan to integrate the CAAT tool into our Blockchain Analyzer portfolio to develop one of the industry’s broadest sets of technology and process services in tax and assurance,” says EY’s global innovation leader for blockchain, Paul Brody.

The technology targets businesses that use cryptocurrencies, giving EY audit teams the ability to collect the entire transaction data of an organization from multiple blockchain ledgers. Some of the cryptocurrencies that Blockchain Analyzer was developed to test include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

WithumSmith+Brown Announces Formation of Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology Services Group

Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown PC (FY18 net revenue of $207.6 million) has announced the formation of a digital currency and blockchain technology services group to address the unique challenges posed by digital assets, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. As an extension of the firm’s technology services group, the team provides a deep level of expertise to a diverse client base involved with and entering into today’s new alternative asset class.

“Blockchain technology and the rising use and influence of digital assets/tokens are not a passing trend, they are becoming part of the fabric of our technology community and the possibilities of their impact and disruptions across all industries are unlimited. We are embarking into a new era that can permanently and dramatically change how we do business,” says Chris DeMayo, partner and team leader of the new group. “Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology pose highly unique challenges, from technology to accounting and regulatory issues – all of which our experienced, forward-thinking team is uniquely prepared to address on a client-by-client, industry-by-industry basis.”

Led by DeMayo, the digital currency and blockchain technology services group is made up of a team of 12 experts including thought-leaders Deep Gujral, principal; Carl Scheuten, partner; Joe Murray, manager; and Ryan Babiak, partner among others. The firm also is a member of, or accredited by, several prominent industry groups including the Accounting Blockchain Coalition, established to foster best practices in navigating accounting issues related to digital assets, and the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.

SAP Launches Leonardo Blockchain, Cloud Blockchain Platform

SAP has launched a blockchain-as-a-service platform called SAP Leonardo Blockchain, which will allow corporate customers to use blockchain technology to create networks and applications.

SAP Leonardo Blockchain will support Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain, and will be built on top of SAP’s SAP HANA data management system, according to the official announcement.

Gil Perez, SAP’s senior VP for product and innovation and head of digital customer service initiatives, explained that SAP will be more flexible as the blockchain market evolves by not committing to any one underlying distributed ledger technology.

Twenty-seven new members were accepted by SAP last fall to its blockchain program in order to integrate the technology into the IoT, manufacturing and supply chain solutions.

Catholic Church Looking Into Blockchain Processes

A new group called Catholic Blockchain wants to put the revolutionary potential of blockchain technology to improve transparency, help the poor and streamline processes, uCatholic reported.

One of its co-founders, Brantly Millegan, explained: “We believe blockchain technology is one of the most important innovations of the last ten years, and the Catholic Church, as the world’s largest global organization, is uniquely placed to benefit from using it.”

He lists five ways the church could use blockchain:

Empowering the poor in the developing world ­– “Download a free app and you can send and receive cryptocurrency all over the world – and do it exponentially faster and cheaper than you could do it even if you had the most developed banking system.”

Fast, cheap, secure international payments – “It might still be faster and cheaper to send someone cryptocurrency and have them exchange it for their local currency in a local exchange, rather than send them government currency through the international money transfer system.”

Secure long-term storage of important information – “It’s very important to the life of the church that the church knows who has received certain sacraments like baptism, confirmation, holy matrimony and holy orders. And yes, it can be done in a secure and private way so that the information isn’t public – only accessible to the people who need it.”

Financial transparency – “Cryptocurrencies can be used in such a way that all transactions are public. If Catholics could donate to Catholic causes or funds, knowing that where the money was spent could be publicly verified, that could relieve a lot of concerns.”

Unlocking value in property and assets – “Let’s say a Catholic diocese had some non-parish property, and the bishop wanted to unlock some of the value of the property without completely selling it. Blockchain technology makes it easier to sell off just, say, 40%, and in small chunks to many investors. That way, the diocese could maintain control of the property, but get some of its value today.”

Millegan says, “Much of the church is still playing catch-up on old-news technologies like websites, smartphones and social media. We need to do a better job of taking seriously new up-and-coming technologies before we’re already behind. And we believe blockchain technology should be near the top of the list.”