The accounting giant Deloitte partnered with five blockchain startups to build a new core banking system, and offer blockchain solutions to companies worldwide, the company announced this morning.
The partnership with startups BlockCypher, Bloq, ConsenSys Enterprise, Loyyal, and Stellar is yet another effort for Deloitte to push the blockchain technology into real-world applications, “aside from Bitcoin,” Joe Guastella, U.S. managing director of financial services at Deloitte, said during Consensus 2016 conference today.
Initially, a lot of the conversation was about taking cost out and restructuring, but we are starting to see people look at this technology as a solution, as opposed to just another issue. You see more major financial institutions working with startups than in the past. People are looking at this, asking where will the future be, and how can we make it work for us. We should start making it real, as the next step, with up and running applications that actually work. We are now anywhere in between tomorrow and 18 months from now for something to actually happen.
Guastella added that the partnerships are a part of the company’s global strategy of identifying “quality partners” with an internal culture that matches that of Deloitte’s own.
The company has already launched 20 prototypes that are mainly focused on the financial services industry, Deloitte partner Eric Piscini told Bank Innovation. “Our next batch of prototypes, coming soon, will be across the industries, including healthcare or retail,” he said.
The partnership with Stellar, a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating cross-border payments, is part of a pilot initiated in Nigeria that aims to reduce the cost and the time of cross-border payments, Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Stellar, told Bank Innovation.
Deloitte is building an entirely new system, and Stellar is a payment rail. A big part of the cross border stuff is that there is a lot of friction between parties. But there shouldn’t be. Just like you are able to send an email from a Google domain to a Yahoo domain, we are aiming to do the same with payments. There’s a lot of stuff today out there utilizing this technology [blockchain] at various degrees of solidness. Some of it doesn’t work, some of it is solid. With this partnership, you can start using Stellar tomorrow.
Together with Stellar, Deloitte developed a mobile app, which can make cross-border payments “as easy as Venmo,” Piscini said. The solution reduces the cost of transfers by up to 40%, and completes the transaction in about five seconds, the company said. Here’s a quick look at the Stellar/Deloitte app.