In what looks like a purchase altogether but name, the seven technical engineers are joining the firm to bolster PwC Switzerland’s smart contract audit abilities.
After being spun out of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zürich) in October 2017, ChainSecurity has conducted quite 75 smart contract and blockchain audits globally and has had an extended relationship with PwC Switzerland — the corporate within the PwC network employed by the Tezos Foundation for its external audit. Last year, ChainSecurity discovered a problem that delayed the Constantinople hard fork and issues with the Istanbul hard fork.
The team will still collaborate with the federal institute and work with its new employer to upgrade PwC Switzerland’s tools and make them more compatible with formal verification, or the mathematical proofs that test mission-critical ASCII text file to make sure it operates as programmers intended.
“For smart contracts generally , one can say that they represent modern business logic for companies,” said Hubert Ritzdorf, former chief technology officer at ChainSecurity and technical lead for smart contract assurance at PwC Switzerland. “If a stablecoin features a bug, you’ll create coins that aren’t properly backed by collateral.”
While formal verification was a part of the team’s product suite before joining PwC, Ritzdorf and his colleagues decide to expand their offerings within the next generation of their products.
Usually tools that employ formal verification are utilized in high-risk industries like airplane engineering and spaceflight where organizations including Boeing or NASA use them, Ritzdorf added. within the crypto industry, where money is represented by digital units and dictated by code, traditional firms and start-ups are using formal verification to make sure it’s impossible that users can spend what they are doing n’t have or lose what they do have.
The players in crypto that seek formal verification tend to be more serious, like companies handling decentralized finance or stablecoins, said Daryl Hok, chief operating officer of blockchain cybersecurity company CertiK. The Libra Association also plans to make automated formal verification for its programing language , Move.
“We’re seeing more and more projects seeking out the rigor that formal verification provides,” Hok said. “Those are usually self-selecting and have a tendency to be the foremost equipped teams and have enough capital to try to to this stuff .”
The clients that come to PwC Switzerland for blockchain audits tend to be majority enterprises from banking, manufacturing and trading, said Andreas Eschbach, partner and leader of risk assurance for PwC Switzerland and Europe.
“It has grown out of the startups and is becoming popular among companies that are around 80 years plus,” Eschbach said.
With the legal expertise of PwC, the ChainSecurity team can go further than it had been ready to before in its analysis of smart contracts.
“The compliance step was always hard for us to try to to ,” Ritzdorf said. “We just wrote down technically what the smart contract does and had to travel to a firm to see if it had been legally compliant.”