Date
19 November 2019
PricewaterhouseCoopers has acquired a stake in Chinese blockchain platform VeChain. The global audit and consultancy firm aims to provide trust-based services on the VeChain platform. Photo: Bloomberg
PricewaterhouseCoopers has acquired a stake in Chinese blockchain platform VeChain. The global audit and consultancy firm aims to provide trust-based services on the VeChain platform. Photo: Bloomberg

PwC buys stake in Chinese blockchain startup VeChain

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has acquired a stake in Chinese blockchain platform VeChain, which operates a crypto-token called VEN.

PwC Hong Kong and PwC Singapore have each acquired a small ownership interest in VeChain, according to PwC’s announcement on May 4. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

As of 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Hong Kong time, VEN was trading at US$5.14, giving it a market capitalization of over US$2.7 billion and making it the 15th largest cryptocurrency in the global market.

According to the PwC Hong Kong team, the global audit and consultancy firm is now in discussions with VeChain, which specializes in the Internet of Things (IoT), supply chain management and anti-counterfeiting, to provide trust-based services on the VeChain platform.

“This will require the use of VeChain tokens to access and perform transactions on the platform,” PwC Hong Kong said.

“We are glad to establish a deeper relationship with VeChain, which aims to build a trusted and distributed business ecosystem to help address long-standing challenges in supply chain management, food trust, and anti-counterfeiting areas,” Raymund Chao, chairman of PwC Asia Pacific and Greater China, said in the announcement.

Established in 2015 in Singapore, VeChain uses blockchain technology to protect client brands and products through the creation of a transparent supply chain that allows product verification and traceability.

Tech media Cointelegraph notes that VeChain’s system is designed to apply IoT technology to create “private keys” for each product, making it possible to trace them throughout the distribution process.

Using blockchain technology for supply chain tracking has been gaining steam. Alibaba and Walmart both launched their respective blockchain platforms in late April.

As part of its efforts to combat food fraud, Alibaba’s T-Mall e-commerce arm rolled out a pilot program using the blockchain-based Food Trust Framework to track international shipments to China from Australian healthcare supply firm Blackmores and New Zealand dairy product maker Fonterra.

Walmart, the world’s largest discount retailer, is said to be using blockchain technology in its live food business, which it says will reduce waste and improve contamination management.

In May 2017, VeChain became a portfolio company of PwC’s incubation program, providing VeChain with access to the Hong Kong and Southeast Asia markets.

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BN/CG