25 May 2016 | 11.29 am
Deloitte Drives Blockchain Technology With New Lab
IDA Ireland providing consultancy support for the new lab
25 May 2016 | 11.29 am
Deloitte is to create an EMEA financial services Blockchain Lab headquartered in Dublin as part of its financial technology initiative The Grid. The firm will assemble a team of 50 people over the next 18 months, including blockchain developers and designers.
A blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of data records hardened against tampering and revision. It consists of data blocks which can hold data or both data and programs in more recent implementations. Each block holds batches of individual transactions and contains a timestamp and information linking it to a previous block.
Blockchain developers look after the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the application, or the back-end technology, while designers create and manage how the application looks. Blockchains form the basis of ‘virtual’ currencies such as bitcoin and are characterised by high levels of security due largely to the prohibitively high cost of attempting to rewrite or alter transaction history in the chain.
The Deloitte team will focus on developing strategic blockchain capabilities and proofs of concept into functioning prototypes to create ‘ready to integrate’ solutions for financial services clients. It has already worked with Bank of Ireland to complete a joint proof-of-concept trial which combines the technology with the bank’s existing systems to provide client experience and regulatory oversight at a lower cost.
Deloitte recently announced partnerships with five leading blockchain technology companies as part of its initiative, and will work with international organisations looking to introduce blockchain-enabled applications.
David Dalton, who will co-lead the lab, added: “Blockchain technology is disrupting the financial services industry for the better when it comes to transparency, efficiency, and improving trust. There is significant demand from clients to use blockchain to speed up payments and transfer clearances, settlements, reconciliations, digital identities, and many other uses. We believe our lab will play a significant role in lifting blockchain use to a new level.”
Skills that the firm is looking for in candidates for its 50-strong team include blockchain-specific software development expertise, front-end design, development, and data management skills.
Brendan Jennings of Deloitte Ireland said: “We are proud Ireland has been chosen as the location for this lab. Not only was the strength, expertise, and capability of the Deloitte Ireland blockchain team recognised, but the proximity to the headquarters of many global technology companies, our strong focus on innovation and R&D, and the support from governmental institutions, academia, and the local FinTech industry were all key factors in securing this investment.”
Photo: Harry Goddard (left) and Brendan Jennings of Deloitte with IDA Ireland’s Martin Shanahan. (Pic. Robbie Reynolds)