FIs Should Follow Deloitte’s Blockchain Lead

Remember when blockchain was going to kill financial services? It seems to be building them up instead.

Take companies like Deloitte: with several new partnerships, projects, innovation labs, and consortium memberships, financial services giant Deloitte might have a better grasp on blockchain’s potential than a couple shiny new fintechs.

The company– which has been on a mission to transform core banking system with blockchain tech — announced a crop of blockchain-related projects and initiatives at the Consensus 2017 event yesterday.

The focus of a company such as Deloitte on blockchain–a technology previously explored more by startups and individual coders than banks–speaks to the growing rise of blockchain as an enterprise tool rather than simply the rails underneath bitcoin.

Deloitte made announcements including its ‘Mercury’ trade finance proof-of-concept (now in testing with several banks in China, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority).

“Trade finance has to be one of the most defined processes in the world–it hasn’t changed since its establishment,”  Joseph Guastella, global and U.S. managing director, financial services, for Deloitte, told Bank Innovation. That’s what makes the industry such a perfect fit for blockchain technology, according to Guastella.

Deloitte also joined the growing number of enterprises not only interested, but actively working to create blockchain technologies: the company is now a member for both the Hyperledger and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance consortiums.

“We have worked with both [Hyperledger and Enterprise Ethereum], but now we are investing, we are involving our people in the work of the project,” Eric Piscini, global financial services blockchain leader for Deloitte, told Bank Innovation. “We can create new business platforms, build the platform of the future.”

This news appears to show that the death of the blockchain consortium may have been greatly exaggerated, considering Hyperledger added eight members to its roster this week including Deloitte, while Enterprise Ethereum tripled its growth with more than 80 new members (also including Deloitte). R3, meanwhile, just received a new $107 million round of funding.

All in all, it seems as though blockchain technology for financial service enterprises is on its way to becoming table stakes–with Deloitte making sure strides in leading the pack.

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