George Sammut – Partner at PwC Malta

After spending over 30 years in one of the Big Four Accounting Firms – PricewaterhouseCooper – George Sammut has witnessed many sides of the business changing due to the rapidly growing technology. From the invention of the FAX machine, Digital Revolution and email to the blockchain.

Distributed Ledger Technology is expected to impact and change the industries as we know it, especially the financial sector. As expected, accounting and auditing are not an exception here.

As described by George Sammut, blockchain is promising to ‘remove the central master’ and eliminate the need of going through a middleman. With that bound to happen sooner or later, it’s only natural to fear of how big of an impact will it have on the business sustainability.

Hence, we invited one of the PwC Malta Partners – George Sammut – for a quick chat about the blockchain effect and how the world’s leading auditing firm is planning to utilise the new technology.

Blockchain Is Similar To The Internet Revolution

Truth being told, blockchain created a lot of hype and had almost become a tech buzzword, misunderstood by many. As pointed out by George, Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency sphere played a big part in confusing the public about what the technology is capable of.

While it might not be for everything, and everyone, blockchain and other DLTs are enabling technologies that have a valid space beyond just being a trend.

Similarly to other industry leaders that have been interviewed by BiteMyCoin, George acknowledged that what we are currently getting excited about is just the first version – blockchain will have to go through many upgrades and improvements before it actually changes our lives.

Keeping that in mind, George recollects some of the significant tech inventions that improved the quality of life and businesses, but at the same time they were not all perfect from the beginning:

“I remember seeing the first announcement of the fax machine on TV – in ‘Tomorrow’s World’. I saw this being implemented, used by everyone and declining. It’s only after a number of years that we see lessons learned, and I think it will be a similar experience in DLT. I’m sure there’s a lot of gaps and questions that need to be answered.”

The biggest challenge of answering questions about DLTs is the lack of skills when it comes to the technical side of things. So what could be the solution for improving not only the technical aspect of DLTs but also the awareness and knowledge of the public?

According to George, education and IT literacy should be the priority on the blockchain agenda. Especially for a country like Malta, where the talent pool is already limited, it’s more important than ever to inject the IT skills in pretty much every profession. From lawyers to architects and doctors, the basic knowledge on how to code and how to navigate through the technology landscape will become crucial in maintaining the market and employment position.

More About PwC Malta

PwC is one of the big four accounting and auditing firms worldwide that helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. With a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people, PwC has been ranked as the most prestigious accounting firm in the world for seven consecutive years by Vault Accounting. Find out more at www.pwc.com.

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Megan is a self-taught blockchain enthusiast. She enjoys combining finance with technology, from a less-techy perspective. BiteMyCoin is her most recent project underneath the umbrella of an international digital marketing agency ANCHOVY.