Blockchain Smart Credentials Platform Introduced By Auditing Firm PwC

Blockchain, News | March 1, 2019 By:

‘Big Four’ auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has introduced a new blockchain platform that enables individuals to take control over their credentials and share them with those they trust.

PwC’s Smart Credentials platform harnesses blockchain technology to allow credentials to be issued and shared digitally. It gives the owner of a credential control of their data, while also simplifying the process for regulators or institutions who issue credentials, as well as the reviewers who need to check them.

Steve Davies, global blockchain leader at PwC, said that theyre seeing high demand for verified, trusted and irrefutable identities from many different types of organizations, but a common challenge for employers is ensuring that an applicant holds the credentials listed on their CV.

“Like many others, I take pride in the certificate hanging on my wall but cannot take it down and share it when I need to, or keep a digital record of my ongoing professional development,” Daivies said. “Blockchain is traditionally associated with financial uses given its link to cryptocurrencies, but there are a wealth of potential use cases for this emerging technology and one of them is in overcoming the challenges of digital identity. Blockchain was designed to allow participants to share data without needing intermediaries. No one party has central ownership, so individuals get more control over their personal data.

The Smart Credentials platform is currently being trialled by PwC staff who have qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) in the last two years. The trial involves the ICAS issuing a blockchain-based digital certificate to the qualified staff. The digital certificate will be part of their digital wallet and can be updated with ongoing personal development and be shared with others on request in a safe and secure way.

“In this first project with ICAS, the data is a Chartered Accountant certificate, but you can also see the potential in any case where credentials are earned and continually updated – such as medical professionals, pilots or safety engineers,” said Davies.

Bruce Cartwright, chief executive of ICAS, said that data protection is arguably one of the most enduring challenges of our time.

“Our newly-qualified Chartered Accountant members involved in this trial can now take control of their personal data by replacing the paper-based certificate with a secure digital version,” Cartwright said. “Not only this, but the technology allows instant verification of their credentials, putting an end to the back-and-forth involved in establishing good standing and ensuring our members can get on with their jobs.”