Technology giant Microsoft and KPMG International, the parent of ‘big four’ audit firm KPMG, has announced the launch of strategically positioned blockchain workspaces to research and develop blockchain applications for real-world processes.
Fintech technology is all the rage and blockchain technology, in particular, is the poster child. In continuing the trend of developers hastening toward blockchain development and prototypes, tech behemoth Microsoft and one of the world’s largest enterprise services firms in KPMG have partnered to establish installations toward blockchain development and deployment.
In statements, Eamonn Maguire, global lead for KPMG’s Digital Ledger Services stated:
The Blockchain Nodes will play a critical role in identifying new applications and use cases that blockchain can address. They will enable us to work directly with clients to discover and test ideas based on market insights, creating and implementing prototype solutions that use this innovative technology.
Calling the workspaces as “Blockchain Nodes”, the strategically positioned installations will see an Asian presence in Singapore and a European foray at Frankfurt, Germany. New York is up next in the list to host the companies’ “innovation workspaces”, as they refer to it.
Under the roof, the focus will remain on developing applications for financial services, while research toward blockchain solutions in healthcare, the public sector and other industries will also be studied.
According to Marley Gray, chief architect at Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain arm, the joint relationship with KPMG is another means toward blockchain adoption in the real world. “The global availability of our Microsoft Azure cloud platform, the hybrid cloud architecture, and multi-tiered security address the specific compliance requirements of clients and help accelerate the use case process,” stated Gray.
Microsoft has been a notable example of a large technology house betting and investing heavily in blockchain development as a proactive measure to carve a section of the enterprise market. Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure has already deployed BaaS (blockchain as a service) offerings, enabling customers create their own smart-contracts-enabled private blockchains in a relatively short time, without the need for any prior experience in blockchain technology.
The two firms are already engaging in a strategic partnership, one that fundamentally provides KPMG’s clients with easy access to Microsoft’s blockchain toolkit.
“We are also inviting the start-up ecosystem to participate in use case development, which will help enable a greater range of solutions for the challenges blockchain implementation presents for financial institutions and other industry players,” added Jess Rassloff, KPMG’s global head of Alliances.
The Great Blockchain Rush
KPMG’s launch of its new blockchain workspaces comes soon after rival Deloitte opened its own blockchain lab in New York, earlier in January. The latter calls 2017 the “make-or-break” year of blockchain technology as developers ramp up their efforts to put development into production, beyond the prototype stages of testing distributed ledger solutions.
Within weeks, Deloitte launched its second blockchain-exclusive lab in Dubin to cater to clients in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.
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