PwC has launched a new Fintech capability called Vulcan Digital Asset Services which the consultant claims will enable digital assets to be used for everyday banking, commerce and other personal currency and asset related services.

Vulcan’s services include digital asset wallets, international payment processing, and investment and trading services, and will soon offer point-of-sale and merchant services and the ability to create and support native digital currencies and rewards based systems.

The platform is currently being piloted by an international banking group and a Central Bank, and being assessed by an airline and another three multinational banks.

Robert Allen, PwC Director and Vulcan Lead, said of the new PwC capability: “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.  It is the first of its kind globally and has been created to bring digital assets and currency to the mainstream.

John Shipman, PwC’s Fintech Asia Leader said: “Traditional financial services companies have taken a cautious approach to digital currencies because of the perceived issues with trust and transparency.  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.

 “Vulcan is a secure, transparent and regulatory compliant platform that takes care of these risks and technical challenges so banks and corporates can safely transition to this new market structure supported by distributed ledger technology.”

PwC says several pilot projects across multiple industries are underway to capture digitized assets within its trusted wallets as well as issuing customer reward points as digital money. “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.

Vulcan is a joint effort by PwC with several other vendors including Blockchain solutions provider Bloq, Blockchain integration, reporting, compliance and analytics provider Libra, and digital identity start-up Netki. Partnering with PwC on the Vulcan project will give these startup partners access to the consultant’s global client base. The Vulcan platform enables Fintech start-ups and existing innovative technology companies to gain access to PwC’s global client base and co-develop new product offerings.

Bloq CWO and co-founder Jeff Garzik says “companies exploring Blockchain technology need flexible, tailored systems.  By partnering with Vulcan, we’re providing an avenue for even the largest of enterprises to be agile during this next wave of innovation.”

An integration layer will be necessary for organizations seeking to adopt Blockchain technology. Jake Benson, CEO at Libra, added that reporting and compliance solutions, and an exceptional user experience to drive digital asset adoption will also be needed.

Justin Newton, CEO at Netki, said: “Vulcan’s platform provides institutions with the ability to use Netki’s identity standard, to immediately comply with existing regulatory requirements. Netki provides the only open standards way to meet sanctions list and other risk and compliance needs around knowing your customer’s counterparty.  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.”