Blockchain Startup Tezos Hires PwC As Independent External Auditorbr>
The Tezos Foundation has hired professional services firm PwC Switzerland as the independent external auditor for its finances and operations.
Tezos is a “self-amending” decentralized blockchain that facilitates formal verification, a technique which mathematically proves the correctness of the code governing transactions and boosts the security of the most sensitive or financially weighted smart contracts. In July 2017, Tezos raised $250 million, the largest-ever amount at that time, in an initial coin offering (ICO).
Soon after its ICO, the company has been the subject of scrutiny and multiple lawsuits concerning compliance with US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. It has also received criticism for delaying the release of its tokens to investors. Following the ICO, a dispute arose between Tezos founders Arthur and Kathleen Beitman and Johann Gevers, the president of the Swiss foundation that helped with the ICO setup and has promoted the company.
In April of this year, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suspended Arthur Breitman from associating with broker-dealers for two years and assessed him a $20,000 fine. According to the authority, Breitman began the creation of Tezos while he was an employee of Morgan Stanley. Under FINRA rules, Breitman was required to notify his employer of his outside activity – something he failed to do.
On Monday, the Tezos Foundation hired PwC to help ensure “that the Tezos community and its observers can trust our operations and use of finances.” Tezos is the first large-scale blockchain organization to be accepted as an audit client of one of the “Big Four” auditing firms.
“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,” Tezos said. “We believe that accountability and trust will be central pillars of any successful entity operating in the blockchain space. We are excited to make progress towards this goal with PwC Switzerland acting as our independent external auditor.”