Blockstream announced on Friday a strategic partnership with PwC to bring blockchain technology and services to enterprises internationally.

Founded by important contributors to the Bitcoin ecosystem, Blockstream is working to extend the capabilities at the Bitcoin protocol level through the development of a sidechains mechanism. With sidechains, the company seeks to expand the Bitcoin blockchain technology to a broad range of asset types, including cryptocurrencies, open assets and smart contracts.

Alex Fowler, Blockstream’s SVP of Business Affairs, explained the cohesiveness of the Blockstream-PwC partnership:

Blockstream provides companies access to the most mature, well tested, and secure blockchain technology in production – the Bitcoin protocol extended via interoperable sidechains to support new applications – along with one of the most experienced teams in the industry. PwC brings deep industry experience, a broad range of business services and cutting-edge client insights. Together, PwC and Blockstream will help companies evaluate cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies and launch new uses for the Bitcoin protocol.

Haskell S. Garfinkel, PwC Partner and FinTech Co-Leader, said:

For our clients, understanding new world applications of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, adapting it for myriad uses, and using it optimally are critical to improving financial security, efficiency and compliance. PwC is teaming with Blockstream to offer our joint knowledge and capabilities to clients – giving them one place to go, maximizing expertise, talent, and assets from both organizations.

Together, PwC and Blockstream will help clients by collaborating on existing solutions and developing offerings to enable companies to meet new competition, adapt to disruptive market forces and lead innovation.

Dean Nicolacakis, PwC Principal & FinTech Co-Leader, commented:

As we wrote several months ago, Blockchain technology has the potential to open the door to revolutionary possibilities in multiple industries. As we kick off 2016, we’ll be working with Blockstream across our practice areas to bring joint expertise, thought leadership, training, pilots and full-scale implementations to market.

According to Blocksream, PwC has begun to introduce its tech to companies in the US, Europe and Asia, which are exploring a number of financial and non-financial use cases for blockchains.

Fowler noted:

This complements the Bitcoin exchanges working with us on our first commercial sidechain, called Liquid, which has been a way for us to support an industry already deep into this technology. With today’s announcement, PwC opens the door for Blockstream to bring new capabilities to established industry sectors and companies just starting to explore the opportunities presented by the advent of blockchains.

For 2016, PwC has comprehensive plans to move into the blockchain technology field,  recently revealing the recruitment of 15 technology specialists to exploit and commercialize blockchain tech. The managment consulting and accounting giant is basing its blockchain team in its Belfast office, with plans to expand the team to 40 blockchain-oriented digital and technology specialists in 2016. PwC recently selected Eris Industries, another blockchain technology startup, to its portfolio of blockchain tech partners.



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