One of the leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services providers, Deloitte, has announced the launch of a new blockchain lab in New York.
Located in New York’s Wall Street district, the new lab will be staffed with over 20 developers and designers, who will work on researching and developing distributed ledger solutions for the financial industry.
“Innovation is a top priority for Deloitte – we continue to strategically invest in our capabilities to help clients adapt to a world where success or survival depends heavily on innovation,” said Joe Guastella, a principal with Deloitte Consulting and global financial services consulting leader.
“Our ecosystem for education, ideation, strategy, application prototyping and development is there to support Deloitte’s clients and practitioners across industries in harnessing the opportunities and capabilities that blockchain technology has to offer.”
The NY lab is the second blockchain hub launched by Deloitte after its Ireland division opened the first blockchain lab in May. Both hubs are part of the company’s fintech initiative called “Grid by Deloitte,” which is a network of R&D hubs over the world aimed at promoting innovative trends for the financial services industry.
Eric Piscini, innovation principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and the global financial services blockchain leader, believes 2017 will be “the make-or-break” year for the technology.
“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,” he said.
Deloitte earlier said that proper application of the technology has the potential to improve financial services. As the company stated in its last year’s report, traditional institutions should consider using the technology as they are facing a real competition from blockchain startups.
Deloitte includes over 800 professionals in 20 countries, which work together with international companies looking to deploy blockchain-based solutions. The company has created over 30 blockchain prototypes for a multitude of applications, including international payments, trade finance, digital banking, loyalty and rewards, digital identity, insurance and investment management.
The NY lab will work together with preferred technology companies and specialist teams from other countries. The company noted it is going to open more blockchain centers this year.
Last month, Deloitte invested in the London-based fintech startup SETL, thus making its first investment in the blockchain company. Deloitte will work with SETL to develop a contactless card using the distributed ledger technology to enable instant settlement of retail payments.