Smart contract auditing team ChainSecurity partnered with the Swiss branch of Big Four auditing firm PwC to enhance the services the global auditor provides. In a recent communique, a PwC spokesperson explained that no acquisition took place and multiple ChainSecurity teams joined the firm.
According to a press release published by the firm on Jan. 5, PwC hopes that, with ChainSecurity’s team, the firm will become “the world’s leader in smart contract auditing.” PwC Switzerland and Europe head and partner of risk auditing Andreas Eschbach said in a recent message:
“As an integral part of PwC Switzerland, the team of ChainSecurity will focus on accelerating PwC Switzerland blockchain audits, including technical audits of smart contracts and blockchain platforms as well that risk hedging services for customers with crypto assets.”
PwC’s manager and leader of the team of external communications Konradin Krieger explained that no actual acquisition took place. He explained that “the core delivery and development teams from ChainSecurity joined PwC Switzerland.” Krieger noted that Chainsecurity COO Matthias Egli and CTO Hubert Ritzdorf will be leading the firm’s Smart Contract’s Assurance team together. He also said:
“We expect market demands to increase quickly as blockchain becomes more mainstream and, as demonstrated with bringing in the ChainSecurity team, we are very invested in building up our capabilities around blockchain in a way where we are ahead of the market. We will continue to grow the team to anticipate these needs based on how we see the market developing.”
When asked about how the capabilities of ChainSecurity’s team will be employed by PwC, Krieger explained that the firm’s customers need a combination of technical and legal skills that can be provided by combining the two companies. He explained:
“While ChainSecurity previously was only able to offer their technical expertise, in connection with PwC Switzerland they can offer a more useful and more coherent service to their customers. […] PwC’s broad competences around regulatory concerns, ranging from data privacy over compliance to KYC/AML, enable the newly joint team to offer broader and more comprehensive services.”
According to its official website, ChainSecurity spun off from the ETH Zurich university’s ICE center blockchain security laboratory and secured over $1 billion in funds so far from major blockchain projects. The team is comprised of PhDs and graduates from ETH Zurich with experience in cybersecurity, program analysis, and machine learning. Per the press release, ChainSecurity has collaborated with more than 75 blockchain companies. The team also discovered a security vulnerability in an Ethereum update. The discovery resulted in the developers postponing the hard fork and prevented the vulnerability from being added to the blockchain.
Smart contracts are seeing wider adoption and ever-growing expectations regarding their potential. Last month, the vice president of blockchain products at event tickets distribution giant Ticketmaster discussed the value that smart contracts can bring to the ticketing industry. At the time, he noted that the firm wants to support 400–500 million smart contract-enabled tickets. Still, much attention is being devoted to the security of such contracts, given how disastrous the exploitation of a flawed smart contract can be. One well-known example is the June 2016 The DAO theft, which saw about $60 million in crypto assets stolen through a smart contract vulnerability.
3 Big Blockchain Firms Working Together On A DeFi Product That Pays Passive Income
In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits. The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Do Kwon, founder and CEO of Terra, explained in a prepared statement:
“While DeFi staples such as Maker and Compound have been revolutionary in creating fully decentralized crypto money markets, the volatility of their interest rates makes them unsuitable to be used as a household savings product. DeFi mass adoption needs the creation of a fully decentralized savings account that offers dependable APR.”
Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards. The initial governance for this platform will come from the Interchain Asset Association (IAA), a newly formed organization that sees Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Jack Platts of the Web3 Foundation, and Do Kwon of Terraform Labs collectively steering the ship.
Telegram Is Set To Shut Down The TON Testnet By August 2020
Although Telegram has terminated its blockchain project, Telegram Open Network (TON), in May 2020, the TON test net has been apparently running for almost one year. In a July 6 update, the official TON development group on Telegram announced that it would be discontinuing its support of the test network for TON. Remaining TON validators will be turned off by August 1. In the post, the TON official recommended network participants save all their relevant data and stop their testing processes. Despite the testnet being set to shut down less than a month from now, network participants will still be able to continue their experimentation after the testnet is terminated. In order to do that, users can install their own testnet validators, described in greater detail in three different how-to documents containing guidelines for the Full Node, the Validator, and Test Grams.
Telegram launched the TON testnet for explorer and node software on Sept. 6, 2019. In anticipation of its scheduled Oct. 31 launch last year, the company released an alpha version of an iOS wallet to work with its native token, the Gram. But Telegram’s TON plans were never fully realized, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly deemed Telegram’s $1.7 billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement. As officially announced by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the firm had already reimbursed more than $1.2 billion by June 25.
Binance Supports An Ontology Upgrade
Binance, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, has announced on July 5 that it will support the upcoming Ontology 2.0 network upgrade. Ontology 2.0 will include the integration of a number of community-led upgrades to its MainNet. Binance says that it will end support of Neo Enhancement Protocol 5-based, or NEP5, ONT tokens deposits. Any future deposits of NEP5 ONT will not be credited to users’ Binance account, it indicates. Deposits and withdrawals of ONT will be stopped starting July 6 at 9 a.m. UTC. Users will be notified when the Ontology upgraded network becomes stable and deposits and withdrawals are reopened, says Binance.
The Ontology network upgrade will not result in a new token creation and ONG staking rewards for ONT will not be affected. Ontology uses a dual token (ONT and ONG) model. ONT is the coin and can be used for staking in consensus, whereas ONG is the utility token used for on-chain services. MainNet ONT started to release ONG as soon as Ontology MainNet went live two years ago. According to Ontology, from 9 to 12th June 2020, it will give its community the opportunity to have a say in the development of its governance and staking economic model, especially for the Triones node results. However, The Ontology Foundation’s first three-year bonus to the top 49 nodes and the distribution method remains unchanged.