Request Network, the project creating a network for payment requests, announced on March 26, 2018 that they are partnering with PwC France and Francophone Africa, taking another small step towards making payments in professional services easier. This follows Request’s previously announced partnerships with Kyber Network, Bee Token, Aragon, Civic, and Filecoin.
Often called “PayPal 2.0,” Request Network has been working towards, among other things, creating a platform where Request invoices can be issued without a third party. This would allow Requesters to receive payments from clients, like those related to freelance services, without having to account for third-party costs like transaction fees. Currently, the network supports payments in Bitcoin and ERC-20 tokens.
PwC France is a regional unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the 4 largest auditing firms in the world, and the second-largest professional services firm in the world. Notably, PwC provides services to over 400 of the Fortune 500 companies. And this is not the first time that PwC has dabbled with blockchain. PwC China has already partnered with the supply chain project VeChain to adopt blockchain solutions.
The firm has marked the widespread rise in enthusiasm for blockchain technology, due to the security, transparency, and efficiency that it offers. PwC France is aware that blockchain can radically transform several industries, including energy, insurance, and, of course, financial services. The goal of their partnership with Francophone Africa will be to resolve clients’ needs by bringing blockchain to their business practices. This is another small milestone in the industry goal of increasing the adoption of blockchain-based, real-world financial solutions.
The People Heading the Partnership
The blockchain is a real breakthrough technology. At PwC, we believe that it will revolutionize business processes by 5 years, provided that they are prepared to integrate this innovation from a technological point of view, but also human. Thus, it is a priority to anticipate today the problems that the blockchain will generate tomorrow. Only multidisciplinarity and co-creation will allow us.
She also believes in Request Network’s ability to create new avenues of opportunity for businesses, saying:
Today we’re taking a chance to experience new opportunities, new technology, new type of management, new mindset of living together, share and collaborate.
Christophe Lassuyt, the co-founder of the Request Network Foundation, agrees that a new and powerful dynamic that’s being formed between the industries:
We are glad to form a partnership with the PwC France Blockchain Lab, creating a bridge between the corporate and blockchain industries. This partnership facilitates industries to innovate and adopt financial solutions using blockchain technology.
The Request Network Foundation, and PwC France and Francophone Africa will also join to form a “thought leadership group” with the intention of offering their blockchain expertise to potential clients. Their respective areas of expertise, playing off of each others’ strengths, will aid in their attempt to transform the professional services industry with this new technology.
Christophe Fonteneau, the Strategic Partnerships Manager of the Request Network Foundation, says that, “The thought leadership group is a great way for us to share knowledge and expertise. We are working very hard to build a common centre of excellence dedicated to the financial industry, which will accelerate mainstream adoption of financial blockchain products.”
Request Network’s investors include the famous startup incubator YCombinator, who have a share of the ICO tokens. For a thorough list of their partnerships, visit this Reddit thread on the cryptocurrency Reddit.
Request Network’s Goals for 2018
Q1 2018 has seen decent progress by the team, including support for the Ledger hardware wallet, listing on the Kyber Decentralized Exchange and some new hires.
The project has much on its agenda for 2018, including providing a proof of concept for privacy through zk-SNARKs, management of fiat currencies, and discussions with influential groups such as the World Bank and the IMF in Q2. Q3 will see escrow extensions, real-time tax payments, and an off-chain reputation layer. The last quarter will feature an inter-currency settlement system and an Internet of Things framework.
The team is also communicative on public channels. Recently, they hosted an AMA on Reddit, the answers to which they have posted on their blog. Other apps are also being built on the network, including WooReq, a way by which WooCommerce stores can accept cryptocurrency payments, and built by a community member.
Request Network hopes to see its network grow through its Request Hub, where projects funded by the Request Fund can leverage the Request Network to offer their apps and services. The Request Network foundation team will help these independent projects with marketing strategies and PR campaigns. 42 teams have already signed up and their specialities include VR, crowdfunding, P2P payments, and more.
For a more in-depth look at the project, read our guide to the Request Network project.