The Wall Street Journal has reported that Swiss banking giant UBS have now publicly stated their plans to open a technology lab in London to explore block chain technology and applicable usage in financial services. More banks are dipping their feet in the proverbial waters of the cryptocurrency sector; is this another stone upon the starting avalanche?
The lab will open later this month at Canary Wharf in London (UK), in the Fintech accelerator space Level39. The lab team and external guests will be tasked with experimenting with block chain tech and designing ways how it can be adapted to various existing financial services to make such services more efficient and cost effective.
Potentially such projects as how the block chain can be better used than traditional services to reduce risk, possibly due to the publicly open transparent model. And to design ways to manage and analyze vast amounts of data, such as would be contained within a block chain of services.
This move is a key example of how big players that already exist within the financial sector are starting to see the future potentials of block chain tech, past the currency. The wall street journal reports that many in financial services have expressed interest in the technology behind bitcoin. The interest is also evident from recent employment opportunities from Nationwide and Worldpay; both have been looking for block chain professionals.
What might also be noticeable is how these organisations are either from the UK. Basing their employment opportunities from their UK branches or like UBS, they are moving their research and studies in this area to the UK.
The move to have their lab located in the UK might very well be due to the UK government's recent digital currency response and announcement of its investment of £10 million into related research.
Oliver Bussmann, group chief information officer at UBS stated:
Fostering an open and collaborative environment between banks, start-ups and the investor community is essential to ensure we focus on promoting synergies between us, accelerate innovation opportunities and create real value for the industry.
Will 2015 be the year remembered as when the banks moved into accepting bitcoin and its underlying block chain technology?