ICAS and PwC are collaborating on a digital verification system harnessing blockchain technology. Newly qualified CAs are being awarded their professional certificates using digital certificates underpinned by blockchain. The certificate then forms part of their digital wallet. It can be updated with ongoing personal development and shared with others on request in a safe and secure way.
Steve Davies, Global Blockchain Leader at PwC says, “The ability to prove your identity online is critical in today’s digital world and the same is true of the qualifications you hold. We’re seeing high demand for verified, trusted and irrefutable identities from many different types of organisations, but a common challenge for employers is ensuring that an applicant holds the credentials listed on their CV.”
Blockchain has been much talked about as a step change in technology, and it seems like this is one of the first practical adoptions by the accounting profession and finance industry. Blockchain is traditionally associated with financial uses given its link to cryptocurrencies. The technology gives complete control over sharing credentials digitally, with reduced exposure to fraud.
Bruce Cartwright CA, Chief Executive of ICAS says, “Data protection is arguably one of the most enduring challenges of our time. Our newly-qualified members involved in this trial can now take control of their personal data by replacing the paper-based certificate with a secure digital version. Not only this, but the technology allows instant verification of their credentials, putting an end to the back-and-forth involved in establishing good standing and ensuring our members can get on with their jobs.”