Deloitte head of financial services David Dalton and IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan: Blockchain technology – which underpins the digital currency, bitcoin – can speed up payments and transfer clearances, settlements and reconciliations. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds
Accountancy giant Deloitte is to base a new European “blockchain” technology lab in Dublin, which will employ up to 50 people when fully operational.
Some 40 of the world’s top financial firms are experimenting with the emerging technology, which allows firms to structure data, such as bank transactions, in new, innovative ways.
The technology – which underpins the digital currency, bitcoin – can speed up payments and transfer clearances, settlements and reconciliations.
Over the next 18 months, Deloitte plans to build a 50-strong team in Dublin, comprising both developers and designers, with the aim of creating functioning prototypes and applications for the financial sector in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Deloitte recently signed partnership deals with five leading blockchain start-ups .
“We are proud that Ireland has been chosen as the location for this lab,” said Brendan Jennings, managing partner at Deloitte Ireland. “Not only was the strength, expertise, and proven 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.”
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the sector had been a powerhouse over recent years, providing significant numbers of high quality jobs.
“Given that it is a dynamic and fast changing business, we need to be able to satisfy the varied and complex needs of the sector, in order to ensure that we retain our competitive advantage for financial services companies locating here in Ireland,” she said.
IDA boss Martin Shanahan said:“The decision by Deloitte to locate this blockchain lab in Ireland is a great endorsement of the technical expertise available here.
“This type of investment directly complements the developing cluster of professional services firms carrying out commercially focused and client-oriented innovation in Ireland,” he said.