Blockchain technology is now in the focus of enterprises’ eyes for its benefits. The architecture has the potential to introduce a high level of transparency and accountability to any corporate, while still maintaining privacy.
Now, industry leaders have begun innovating in the blockchain sector. One of the world’s most established professional services companies, Ernst & Young, have also made a considerable foray into the blockchain space.
To get a deeper look into how one of the ‘Big Four’ approaches blockchain, Curious Dose got in touch with Prashant Garg, Partner, Data and Analytics at EY India to know more.
EY’s Foray Into Blockchain
The consulting giant began looking into blockchain in 2018, seeing its benefits for markets such as big oil or gas. They quickly developed a host of products and services, including Insurwave, a blockchain-powered marine insurance platform, Tesseract, a mobility platform, and consulting for companies that wanted to integrate blockchain into their processes.
When asked about the adoption rate of this technology in the enterprise sector, Garg stated,
“The adoption rate and maturity level varies from industry to industry. Clearly there is significant understanding and request for POC, and clients are putting blockchain to test.”
Garg believes that blockchain is a disruptive force in the enterprise sector. The technology offers transparency, trusted data sources using minimal effort and a cost saving when compared to traditional systems.
“Blockchain provides secure, scalable and non-tamperable system of records unifying transactions and processes across multiple organizations.”
More than a direct performance improvement, the differentiating factor of blockchain lies in its potential to bring trust and transparency in the data exchange process, stated Garg.
The benefits offered are in the “intercompany transaction processing and information exchange,” said Garg, going on to say that it can completely revolutionize the way of doing business.
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He also offered insights into the type of blockchain used by enterprises widely, stating that private, permissioned blockchains are popular among the market. This is due to a multitude of factors, such as faster transactions, better scalability, easier support for compliance, more efficient consensus processes and an enterprise permissioning.
The company also offers a supply chain solution known as EY Ops Chain, for organizations to optimize their processes with blockchain. Garg elaborated,
“[EY Ops] is blockchain based solution which can be deployed for various organization with minimal effort. The application of tokenization and smart contract based business logic layer makes it easily scalable ”
The Importance Of Blockchain Forensics
More recently, EY has been foraying into the field of blockchain forensics. Public blockchain networks, such as those used by cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP, are transparent. This means that all transactions can be seen by all parties on the chain.
It is possible to derive valuable insights about on-chain transactions using this data. Seeing the benefit, EY developed the Blockchain Analyzer. It is a suite of technologies to audit the blockchain, and provides “in-depth reviews of cryptocurrency transactions”. According to Garg,
“It is designed for EY audit teams to audit transactions in the six major cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Ripple; the software lays the foundation for testing of blockchain assets, liabilities, equity, and smart contracts as companies further adopt blockchain technologies.”
Added to this, the Analyzer also allows auditors to analyse blockchain data and validate the existence of transactions. It can also visualize patterns and detect outliers in the transaction. This is one of the most important parts of maintaining a blockchain. According to Garg,
“Forensics on blockchain solution ensures any malicious activity with cryptocurrencies can be detected in time for remediation.”
The platform enables EY to detect possible fraudulent and red-flag transactions. The company runs full nodes on all the mentioned cryptocurrencies, allowing them a 360-degree view of transactions on the chain. This improves the quality of the audit itself, said Garg.
At The Cutting Edge Of Disruption
Added to blockchain products, EY also has an active involvement in the space. This is seen by their adoption of a privacy feature known as zero-knowledge proof. This is a benefit to many in the enterprise market. As explained by Garg,
“The essence of a zero-knowledge proof is that it is trivial to prove that someone possesses knowledge of certain information by simply revealing it. The challenge is to justify such possession without revealing the information itself or any additional information.”
He also spoke on the holy grail of blockchain for many enthusiasts, decentralisation. The general idea is that enterprise adopters of blockchain have no need for this feature, owing to their previous centralized hierarchy. However, Garg broke this stigma, stating
“Decentralization actually distributes the ownership of infrastructure and platform across participating organizations, thereby enabling organizations to scale operations as per individual requirements and makes it easy to own and operate the solution.”
Overall, EY, as one of the biggest companies in the world, seems to have a keen eye on the development of blockchain technology. The advancement seems to be progressing at a quick pace, showing heightened interest for the new technology.
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