PwC Switzerland wants to become a leading smart contract audit provider. To build up its field expertise, the company has recently recruited the team of blockchain security firm ChainSecurity.
PwC Switzerland has recruited the team of Swiss blockchain security firm ChainSecurity. The team will provide technical audits of smart contracts and blockchain projects to PwC’s corporate clients. With the “acquihire,” PwC Switzerland aims to position itself as a leading smart contract assurance provider.
Andreas Eschbach, Partner and Head of Risk Assurance Services at PwC Switzerland, says, “As part of PwC Switzerland, the ChainSecurity team will focus on accelerating PwC Switzerland’s blockchain audits, including technical ones, checks of smart contracts, and blockchain platforms as well risk protection services for customers who own cryptosystems.”
ChainSecurity: security audits for blockchain companies
ChainSecurity was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the ICE Centre, an R&D lab at ETH Zurich. The founders have led the security working groups of the Crypto Valley Association, the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, and the Swiss Blockchain Federation and launched the Swiss Blockchain Security initiative last May. The firm currently employs twelve staff, according to its website. It has more than 75 blockchain firms as clients.
The company’s primary business focus is on products and services for securing smart contracts and blockchain protocols. That includes developing custom security solutions for blockchain projects, identifying vulnerabilities, and verifying the functional correctness of smart contracts, blockchain platforms, and protocols. Additionally, ChainSecurity provides research and development in blockchain security, program analysis, and machine learning.
In the future, the team will offer these same services
as part of PwC Switzerland. A ChainSecurity representative says, “We are
thrilled to announce that our team is joining PwC Switzerland. As part of PwC
Switzerland, we will stay true to our mission of bringing trust to blockchain
projects. We are thankful to all our clients and colleagues for supporting us
throughout this journey. We are excited about this new chapter.”
Smart contract and security audits are becoming increasingly important
As more companies are using blockchain technology and develop their own solutions, blockchain security is increasingly becoming a priority. Last year, Nomura Holdings and Digital Garage invested in blockchain security firm Quantstamp. IBM’s X-Force Red security team is working on a blockchain security testing service.
PwC, as one of the four leading auditing and accounting firms worldwide, is no stranger to the blockchain space neither. The firm has just recently launched a software solution to provide cryptocurrency audit services.
Security audits are not just a necessity to guarantee platform security but also to prove that smart contracts are functional. So far, most countries do no recognize smart contracts as legally binding contracts. However, this has recently started to change.
Today, several US states recognize smart contracts in legal settings. Illinois was the latest state to join just last week. Vermont led the charge with its 2016 move to make blockchain records admissible in court and one year later, Arizona passed similar legislation. In most of Europe, however, smart contracts are not considered a legal document, but only a technical construction. Thus, technical audits are even more critical, as in the absence of legal certainty, the user needs to rely on technical functionality.