Multinational services firm and one of the so-called “Big Four” accounting firms Deloitte has announced the completion of its latest blockchain endeavor. The firm scrutinized permissioned blockchain protocols and applications with professional auditing standards.
The aim of the project, Deloitte said, was to “enhance the utility and trust of a permissioned blockchain system” by putting it through both professional audit and assurance standards.
If 2017 is the year of blockchain prototypes and proof-of-concepts turning into real-world applications, auditors will have to keep abreast with technological changes to scrutinize and pore over protocols and data from new innovations like blockchain technology.
“[W]e need to get ahead of the curve on quantifying and defining how an auditor could provide a level of assurance on a permissioned blockchain application” said Will Bible, a partner at Deloitte. Further, he revealed that it was merely a “matter of time” before which Deloitte’s clients started switching portions of their businesses onto blockchain-based infrastructure. The oncoming wave of adoption further underlines the need for Deloitte’s audit and assurance project.
Deloitte’s Rubix – a team of professionals exclusively researching and developing blockchain applications in the firms Toronto offices was involved in the project. Bitcoin enthusiasts will remember Rubix for their effort to purchase and launch a bitcoin ATM now installed in Deloitte’s Toronto office.
“We thought it was really important to show people how to get access to bitcoin, because it is really the entry point to understand the broader implications of blockchain,” stated Rubix strategy lead and co-founder Iliana Oris Valiente at the time.
In order to understand and explore the project, the Rubix team applied existing guidance from attestation standards, to the permissioned blockchain application. The development team also devised procedures specific to the requirements of a loyalty points blockchain application built on Ethereum technology.
For the purposes of this project, we selected an internally-developed loyalty points blockchain application built by our Rubix by Deloitte team on a permissioned Ethereum network as a test case.
While all four services firms are known to be engaging in researching and developing blockchain applications and protocols for clients alike, Deloitte is arguably leading the pack with a multitude of developments in the blockchain-specific Fintech space.
The firm’s ‘global blockchain team’ now consists of 8000 professionals across 20 countries, who have developed over 30 blockchain-related prototypes in areas including digital banking, payments and rewards programs.
Deloitte deemed 2017 the “make-or-break” year for blockchain adoption when opening its blockchain lab in New York in January. The occasion was promptly followed by the launch of its second blockchain lab in Dublin, Ireland, to cater to clients in Europe and the Middle East.
Deloitte has also partnered or worked with government institutions in lending expertise toward Fintech research and development. For instance, the services firm partnered the city of Rotterdam to launch a blockchain pilot project to record lease agreements in real estate. More notably perhaps, Deloitte was consulted by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, to discuss the frameworks required for the issuance of a national digital currency.
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