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French IT services firm Capgemini plans to have 100 blockchain specialists globally in its financial services division by the end of 2016.
Through this team the supplier will offer blockchain services, to include feasibility studies, business case assessments and full systems integration.
Blockchain is best known as the distributed database technology behind the virtual currency bitcoin, but banks are starting to investigate its broader capability as a real-time, encrypted distributed ledger for transactions involving a variety of financial assets.
“Capgemini’s accelerated focus on blockchain technology represents a major step in the firm’s move towards developing financial technology (fintech) solutions that are becoming a catalyst for change and innovation in the financial services industry,” said Thierry Delaporte, CEO of Capgemini’s Financial Services Strategic Business Unit.
Jimit Arora, analyst at Everest Group, said blockchain use cases in financial services have the potential to deliver significant transaction cost savings, increase transparency for regulatory reporting, minimise counter-party risk and enable secure, efficient and near real-time settlements.
“As the technology matures and adoption increases, financial services firms will leverage multiple integrated hyperscale distributed ledgers backed by APIs [application programming interfaces] to drive seamless connectivity and interoperability over public and private networks,” said Arora.
Read more about blockchain technologies
- Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind bitcoin, is both a threat and an opportunity for financial services – and banks are taking it very seriously.
- Spreading cyber crime, like the ransomware attacks on NYT and BBC, has Congress considering bitcoin security.
- A panel of financial services experts discussed adoption of blockchain technologies at the Innovate Finance 2016 Summit.
Suppliers such as Capgemini need little encouragement to invest in blockchain skills as banks are their biggest customers. If they do not keep up they risk losing massive chunks of business.
In March 2015, a global banking consortium, including Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC, completed cloud-based tests of five different blockchain technologies. Working with IT supplier R3, the banks, from all over the world, tested trading using blockchain and cloud technology. The aim of the pilot was to see how distributed ledgers can be used commercially in global financial markets.