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Tezos Foundation Taps ‘Big Four’ Firm PwC for Independent Audit

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:05 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:05 PM

Major auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland has agreed to conduct an independent audit of the Tezos Foundation’s finances and operations, the foundation announced on Monday.

PwC, considered one of the “Big Four” auditing firms, will review the finances of the Tezos Foundation, which is holding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies and other assets raised from the project’s then-record initial coin offering (ICO) in summer 2017.

In a statement, the foundation — which underwent a major reshuffle earlier this year following months of infighting between Tezos creators Arthur and Kathleen Breitman and former foundation President Johann Gevers — stated that the audit is indicative of its commitment to operate with the “highest degree of integrity.”

“The Foundation is committed to operating with the highest degree of integrity in the service of our mission to support the Tezos protocol, ecosystem, and community. Engaging a top-tier independent external auditor ensures that the Tezos community and its observers can trust our operations and use of finances.”

Like its fellow Big Four compatriots, PwC has been active in the distributed ledger technology (DLT) space and has even provided some in-house blockchain services to clients seeking to dabble in this nascent technological field. The firm’s Asia-based offices have gone even further, as PwC Hong Kong not only began accepting cryptocurrency payments last year but also, along with PwC Singapore, invested directly in cryptocurrency startup VeChain.

Nevertheless, this partnership marks the first time that a Big Four auditor has agreed to take on a large-scale blockchain organization as a client, according to the announcement, and it could be a leading indicator that the mainstream financial services industry is growing more comfortable with firms operating in the cryptocurrency space.

But the announcement has other implications, as well. The revelation that PwC is not categorically opposed to auditing blockchain firms throws shade on statements made by controversial cryptocurrency startup Tether in defense of its failure to undergo a full balance sheet audit. As CCN.com reported, the firm’s legal counsel had argued that Tether could not do a full audit since auditors were too risk-adverse to take on cryptocurrency firms as clients.

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