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Deloitte opening blockchain lab in New York

Jan 16
Tags: Deloitte
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Deloitte opening blockchain lab in New York

Deloitte is set to conduct further research and development work in the area of blockchain technology, with a dedicated lab due to open in New York City's financial district.

The facility at 140 Broadway will be the second of its kind in the company's network, following Deloitte Ireland's opening of the first blockchain lab in May this year.

Blockchain technology involves the use of distributed databases to maintain continuously growing lists of records. It serves as the foundation of the digital currency Bitcoin and there has been much debate about its potential uses in various industries, particularly financial services.

Deloitte has already developed a number of blockchain-related prototypes. They encompass various functions and processes, including digital banking, cross-border payments, trade finance and loyalty solutions.

To drive forward its research into this area, the company has appointed a dedicated team of more than 20 blockchain developers and designers to run the lab in New York. They will work with various tech partners and banking clients to conduct tests, develop prototypes and come up with new applications.

While there has been a lot of talk and excitement around blockchain, the technology is yet to achieve widespread adoption. Eric Piscini, a principal with Deloitte Consulting, said 2017 could be its "make or break year".

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 out proofs of concept and begin producing and implementing solutions. That's a big part of the goal with Deloitte's blockchain lab."

In an article for CoinDesk, Mr Piscini predicted that, if "significant headway" isn't made by the end of 2017, there will be a risk of "fatigue in executive suites" as far as blockchain is concerned. However, he also stated that Deloitte is "quite bullish" in its outlook.

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