PwC Luxembourg embraces Bitcoin

The Luxembourg branch of international accounting and tax consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced via a press release that it will accept payments in bitcoin (BTC) from October 1. PwC Luxembourg says it is embracing bitcoin in response to growing demand and to strengthen the Luxembourg crypto ecosystem.

With more than 250,000 employees spread over 158 countries, PwC is one of the largest business services providers in the world and, alongside Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG, is one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy organisations. On September 2, PwC’s Luxembourg arm announced that it will accept payments from customers in bitcoin (BTC) from October 1, in partnership with a local exchange.

Despite growing pains over the past decade, Bitcoin has proven itself as a reliable peer-to-peer payment mechanism, based on a model of decentralized trust, according to PwC Luxembourg.

As an organization focused on facilitating mutual trust and solving complex problems, PwC Luxembourg also says it is aware of the future potential of cryptocurrencies, as well as its current shortcomings. Nevertheless, PwC Luxembourg foresees that the technology will lead to economic standards in the medium to long term and therefore wants to be among the ‘ early adopters ‘ of the technology.

“What is certain, however, is that Bitcoin kept its promise as the first peer-to-peer payment mechanism that cannot be compromised and is based on a decentralized trust model.” – Press release PwC Luxembourg

According to Thomas Campione of PwC Luxembourg, it was obvious to start accepting bitcoin. To further invest in the industry and create solutions for clients, exposure to bitcoin was desirable to better understand the industry’s inherent challenges, he explains.

He points to the obstacles that crypto companies experience in complying with anti-money laundering ( Anti-Money Laundering – AML ) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) legislation in a world that only knows private and public keys , or the complexity involved in comes into play when managing bitcoins.

“As part of the Firm’s market assessment, what quickly became clear is that we could not continue to invest in the field, promote it, build solutions for clients and support their transformation while not also being exposed to it. Our role is to lead and it is only by being an active leader with exposure that we at PwC Luxembourg can understand the challenges inherent to the crypto world.” – Thomas Campione, Director, Blockchain & Crypto-assets Leader, PwC Luxembourg

Luxembourg also has a growing crypto industry. Companies such as Bitstamp, BitFlyer and, among others, are based in the country. It seems that PwC Luxembourg wants to increasingly focus on serving these types of start-ups and companies. By connecting to the bitcoin economy, they hope to increase their knowledge in order to better serve customers from the sector.

PwC and Bitcoin

PwC has long been interested in Bitcoin. As early as 2014, it published a report praising Bitcoin’s innovativeness. There are now more than 400 employees at PwC worldwide who work on various blockchain-related projects. PwC also supplies software for crypto-auditing and smart credentials , among other things .

It is not the first time that a part of PwC accepts bitcoin as a means of payment. In 2017, PwC Hong Kong announced that it had provided advice against payment in bitcoin. As far as is known, however, this was a one-off event.

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