On Jan. 12, Deloitte held an opening party for its new blockchain lab in New York City’s financial district.

At the opening event, the firm exhibited several proof of concept demonstrations, which innovation and technology strategist Mayak Singhal referred to as ”the art of the possible.”

Eric Piscini, a principal with Deloitte Consulting, called 2017 a “make or break” year for blockchain technology, as the technology hasn’t yet reached widespread adoption. This year, the firm is placing focus on developing strategic blockchain capabilities and proofs of concept that can be turned into ready-to-integrate, functioning prototype solutions for financial services clients.

Eric Piscini, principal at Deloitte Consulting, speaks at the New York Deloitte blockchain lab.
Eric Piscini, principal at Deloitte Consulting, speaks at the New York Deloitte blockchain lab.

Deloitte has already developed more than 30 blockchain-relate prototypes covering uses including digital identity, digital banking, cross-border payments, trade finance and loyalty and rewards solutions, as well as distinct efforts for the investment management and insurance sectors. The firm’s global blockchain team is comprised of approximately 800 professionals across 20 countries.

The Americas blockchain lab in New York has a dedicated team of more than 20 blockchain developers and designers, and according to Deloitte Consulting principal Joe Guastella, Deloitte hopes to grow that number to 50 this year. The lab will work alongside specialist teams from other countries and with Deloitte’s network of more than a dozen preferred technology companies.

The new lab is part of Deloitte’s broader digital transformation and innovation efforts, dubbed “Grid by Deloitte,” which constitutes a network of labs around the world, among other initiatives. Deloitte Ireland opened the first blockchain lab in May, making the New York lab at 140 Broadway the second formal hub in Deloitte’s global network. While a number of centers of expertise for blockchain have organically grown within Deloitte’s network over the last two years, Deloitte expects to announce additional formal labs this year.

“Financial institutions have the power and ability to move blockchain to the next level,” Piscini said in a statement. “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.”

Ranica Arrowsmith

Technology editor for Accounting Today.