Home / Markets News & Opinions / How PwC’s Vulcan Blockchain Seeks to Bring Banks into the New Digital Era

How PwC’s Vulcan Blockchain Seeks to Bring Banks into the New Digital Era

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:52 PM
Lester Coleman
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:52 PM

Vulcan Digital Asset Services, a newly-launched service from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), promises a new era for financial and commercial services with digital currency technology. A single platform connects identity, money and assets, allowing users to spend, share, trade or track any physical or digital asset cheaply and quickly.

The Vulcan platform enables fintech start-ups and existing technology companies to gain access to PwC’s global client base and co-develop new product offerings. Services include digital asset wallets, global payment processing, and investment and trading services. Vulcan will also offer point-of-sale and merchant services as well as the ability to create and support native digital currencies and rewards-based systems.

A Continuing Commitment

The Vulcan offering marks PwC’s continuing commitment to bringing blockchain technology to financial services and other industries. Earlier this year, in a report, “Blurred lines: How FinTech is shaping Financial Services,” PwC compared blockchain to enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that allowed entities and functions within a business to optimize processes by sharing logic and data within the enterprise, CCN.com reported.

PwC created Vulcan since it believes advances in network computing and cryptography will transform financial, government and consumer industries.

Vulcan’s digital currency services include blockchain-based payments, a digital asset exchange, and rewards and loyalty programs.

Governance And Assurance Services

In addition, the platform provides governance and assurance services, including anti-money laundering, know your customer and reporting tools to ensure regulatory compliance. These services provide business intelligence capabilities allowing users to conduct “deep dives’” into user behavior.

“Vulcan is a cloud-based platform that enables banks and corporates to offer a suite of new digital currency-related products and services to individual, retail and institutional customers within a trusted, transparent and compliant ecosystem,” said Robert Allen, PwC director and Vulcan lead. “It is the first of its kind globally and has been created to bring digital assets and currency to the mainstream.”

“Traditional financial services companies have taken a cautious approach to digital currencies because of the perceived issues with trust and transparency,” said John Shipman, PwC’s fintech Asia leader.  “Vulcan came about because we were looking at these issues in relation to bitcoin – the poster child of digital money – and in particular, how we can solve challenges relating to the issues of anonymity, and existing regulatory requirements, and recourse given its cross-border nature, function as a store of value and lack of central control.”

Pilot Tests Under Way

PwC is already conducting several pilots in different industries that capture digitized assets and issue customer reward points as digital money. A global banking group and a central bank are piloting the system while an airline and three multi-national banks are also exploring it.

“We’re also working with governments to see how these services can enhance transparency around humanitarian aid programs through the use of smart (programmable) money,” Shipman said.

Also read: PwC report: blockchain a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for financial services

An ‘A’ Team

Assisting PwC in the project were Bloq, a blockchain solutions provider, Libra, a blockchain integration, compliance, reporting and analytics provider, and Netki, a digital identity startup.

“By partnering with Vulcan, we’re providing an avenue for even the largest of enterprises to be agile during this next wave of innovation,” said Jeff Garzik, CEO and co-founder of Bloq. “Blockchain-enabled business will be multi-network, multi-chain and multi-token. Companies exploring blockchain technology need flexible, tailored systems.”

“All large enterprises adopting blockchain technology will require an integration layer, reporting and compliance solutions, and an exceptional user experience to drive digital asset adoption,” said Jake Benson, CEO at Libra. “By partnering with Libra, Vulcan addresses these needs enabling true end-to-end enterprise offerings.”

“Vulcan’s platform provides institutions with the ability to use Netki’s identity standard, to immediately comply with existing regulatory requirements,” said Justin Newton, CEO at Netki. “By bringing together best of breed solutions around identity, reporting and security services, Vulcan enables the effective deployment of complete blockchain-based applications and services.”

Image from Shutterstock.