Deloitte Opens Blockchain Lab In Wall Street

Josh O'Neill Reporter 13 January 2017

Deloitte Opens Blockchain Lab In Wall Street

Deloitte's blockchain team – comprised of more than 800 professionals across 20 countries – works with international organizations looking to roll out blockchain-enabled solutions.

Deloitte has launched a client-focused blockchain laboratory in the heart of New York's Wall Street district. 

The firm's latest project builds on Deloitte's broader digital innovation efforts, titled Grid by Deloitte, which constitutes a network of labs around the world, among other initiatives.

Deloitte's Irish arm established the company's first blockchain lab in May 2016, making the New York lab situated at 140 Broadway the second formal hub in Deloitte's global network. The Big Four firm said it expects to announce additional formal labs throughout this year.

Blockchain technology, a virtual distributed ledger of transactions shared peer-to-peer, can record ownership across a public network of computers rendered tamper-proof by advanced cryptography. It is already known as the platform for the controversial digital currency bitcoin. The nascent technology is causing a stir within the financial services sector as its supporters believe it could reduce hidden expenses in the financial system by ousting inefficiencies across areas such as payments, syndicated loans and equity clearing.

Deloitte's Americas blockchain center has a team of more than 20 blockchain technology developers and designers who focus on manufacturing strategic blockchain capabilities and proofs of concept into functioning prototypes to create ready-to-integrate solutions for financial services clients. The lab's staff will collaborate with specialist teams from other countries and with Deloitte's network of more than a dozen preferred technology institutions. While the Americas blockchain lab will be mainly focused on working with financial institutions, it will be working with other industries as well, given blockchain technologies' ability to create opportunities across all sectors of the economy. 

In a recent survey of “blockchain-knowledgable executives” conducted by Deloitte, just 12 per cent of respondents said their company has deployed blockchain in production. However, they are seeking to pick up the pace; 24 per cent said their companies plan to go live with blockchain-based efforts in the coming year. 

To date, Deloitte, has developed more than 30 blockchain-related prototypes, covering a multitude of uses such as digital identity, digital banking, cross-border payments, trade finance, and loyalty and rewards solutions, as well as distinct efforts for the investment management and insurance sectors. 

"With the technology not yet having reached widespread adoption, 2017 could be the make-or-break year for blockchain technology," said Eric Piscini, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, adding: “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 out proofs of concept and begin producing and implementing solutions. That's a big part of the goal with Deloitte's blockchain lab." 

This news service recently ran a number of feature articles focusing on the potential applications of blockchain technology within the wealth management and family office industries.

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