Other parts of this series:
- Blockchain start-ups are training their sights on the insurance industry
- Blockchain could force insurers to radically rethink their businesses
- Major insurers are starting to put blockchain to the test
- Blockchain gains support from technology heavyweights
- Blockchain still needs to clear some big hurdles
Major technology providers are recognizing blockchain’s huge potential and are supporting a variety of development initiatives.
A host of major technology providers are embarking on blockchain projects. They recognize the enormous potential of the technology to disrupt the financial services industry and other sectors of the economy.
Blockchain specialists, such as U.S. firms Ripple and R3, have pioneered the development of the technology and widely promoted its capabilities among leading financial services firms.
In recent months, however, many prominent technology providers have also put their weight behind blockchain development. Several significant alliances have been announced. They include:
- More than a dozen major technology providers, including Accenture, Cisco, IBM and Intel, have teamed up with a similar number of prominent financial services organizations to support the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project. The project aims to promote the use of blockchain-based distributed ledgers for recording and verifying business transactions. It hopes to unite efforts to develop open protocols and standards for blockchain development.
- Accenture has formed an alliance with blockchain firm Digital Asset Holdings to help banks, brokerages and infrastructure providers develop and implement blockchain solutions. Furthermore, Accenture has launched a specialized practice within its financial services group to support organizations implementing blockchain technology, and has opened a blockchain center of excellence in Sophia Antipolis, France. Digital Asset Holdings has also formed partnerships with Broadridge and PwC.
- Microsoft has partnered with emerging tech firm ConsenSys to offer blockchain as a service (BaaS) on its Azure cloud facility. The Azure BaaS offering will support the Ethereum platform and a programming language. It will enable organizations to rapidly develop smart contact applications.
Support for blockchain among technology providers is set to increase in the coming months. The co-operation between firms working to develop blockchain solutions, as well as their partnerships with many financial services companies, will accelerate the widespread application of this innovative technology.
In my next blog post, I’ll discuss some of the obstacles that might hinder the spread of blockchain technology in the financial services industry.