PricewaterhouseCoopers, the biggest professional services firm in the world and one of the “Big Four” of global auditors, has just announced that it is now getting into the ICO business.
The firm has been helping blockchain startups structure their ICOs so as to remain fully compliant with anti-money laundering regulations in their relevant jurisdictions.
Tracking of All Tokens in Post-ICO Period
According to one report in the South China Morning Post, the accounting firm is now developing a tool to allow project teams to track tokens in their post-ICO phase.
Once tokens are in investors’ hands, they may be traded and thus used for illegal purposes. With regulators worldwide tightening up on anti-money laundering rules, there is always a risk that an offering company will fall foul of authorities further down the line.
As a result, PwC are now testing an analytics tool which will exploit blockchain transaction records to track all tokens at all times.
According to Eric Young, partner in PwC’s China and Hong Kong operations, despite the blockchain’s inherent transparency, to date no tools had been developed to allow ” … for an issuer of an ICO to trace its coins and know how these coins are being used.“
PwC’s new platform will use AI to “enable clients to better predict which jurisdictions the digital token could potentially be circulated to.” Where risks are flagged, companies would then be able to “apply a high risk score to that particular jurisdiction.”
PwC’s development of this tool coincides with an increasing interest in the ICOs from Asian companies looking to raise funds.
Since the crackdowns in China and South Korea, these are normally routed through the more relaxed territories of Hong Kong and Singapore. Tightening risk-control procedures is seen as key to preserving the ICO model in the region.