Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms is launching an exclusive blockchain lab in New York’s Wall Street district to research and develop financial blockchain-based solutions.
Calling 2017 the ‘make-or-break’ year for blockchain technology, the lab’s focus will look toward creating “ready-to-integrate” solutions for Deloitte’s clients in the financial services industry.
To aid in its effort to develop deployable blockchain solutions, the blockchain lab will see over 20 developers and designers staffed under its roof. The effort will be client-focused, Deloitte says, and will now become the services and accounting giant’s second formal hub for blockchain development. Deloitte Ireland opened the international firm’s first blockchain lab in May 2016, a month after it collaborated with the Bank of Ireland – the country’s central bank – to complete a joint proof-of-concept blockchain trial.
Eric Piscini, innovation principal at Deloitte sees 2017 as the watershed year for bitcoin’s underlying innovation on an enterprise level.
“With the technology not having reached widespread adoption, 2017 could be the make-or-break year for blockchain technology,” he stated.
Further, he added:
Financial institutions have the power and ability to move blockchain to the next level. To get there, companies will need to move away from churning our proofs of concept and begin producing and implementing solutions. That’s a big part of the goal with Deloitte’s blockchain lab.
The New York and Dublin hubs are part of a network of labs and other blockchain initiatives by the accounting firm, called “Grid by Deloitte”. The accounting giant says more formal labs around the world are expected to be announced this year.
A notable example of another Deloitte blockchain initiative is Rubix, a team of developers at the firm that is focused exclusively on developing blockchain applications. The Rubix team helped install a bitcoin ATM at Deloitte’s Toronto offices with much fanfare in September 2016.
Illiana Oris Valiente, strategy lead and co-founder of Rubix stated at the time:
We thought it was really important to show people how to get access to bitcoin, because it is really the entry point to understand the broader implications of blockchain.
Deloitte claims to have over 800 professionals spanning 20 countries as a part of its blockchain team. The services firm also says it has developed over 30 blockchain-based prototypes in a number of sectors. Last year, the firm was consulted by the People’s Bank of China in a marked effort toward the development and issuance of a central-bank issued digital currency. Another public-focused effort sees Deloitte Netherlands working with the city of Rotterdam to develop a blockchain that will record lease agreements in real estate.
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