Professional services network PwC Australia has launched a new fintech capability called ‘Vulcan Digital Asset Services’, to 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 as well as 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 further three multinational banks.

PwC Director and Vulcan Lead, Robert Allen commented: “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. We’ve created Vulcan because at PwC we believe new technology supported by advances in cryptography and network computing – particularly blockchain – will transform the consumer, government and financial market industries and shape the next generation of money.”

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.

Vulcan has been built by PwC in conjunction with enterprise blockchain solutions provider Bloq, blockchain integration, reporting, compliance and analytics provider Libra, and digital identity start-up Netki. This allows the Vulcan platform to provide Fintech start-ups and existing innovative technology companies access to PwC’s global client base and the ability to co-develop new product offerings.

Shipman added: “We’re already running several pilots within multiple industries looking at capturing digitised assets within our 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,”

CEO of Libra, Jake Benson stated: “All large enterprises adopting blockchain technology will require an integration layer, reporting and compliance solutions, and an exceptional user experience to drive digital asset adoption. By partnering with Libra, Vulcan addresses these needs enabling true end-to-end enterprise offerings.”

Justin Newton, CEO of Netki, remarked: “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.”