Accenture has launched a specialized practice within its financial services group to help institutions implement blockchain technology in order to improve operational efficiency, security, and client service, as well as to capture new revenue opportunities.
“Blockchain-enabled technologies are poised to bring huge benefits to the financial services sector over the next decade,” said Owen Jelf, managing director of Accenture’s global capital markets practice. “By forming this practice, we can help the industry unlock scalable and transformative uses of this innovative technology. Our recent investment and alliance agreement with Digital Asset allows our clients to benefit from a close collaboration that will accelerate blockchain deployment industry wide.”
The company has also formed an alliance with Digital Asset Holdings, LLC, a developer of blockchain technology, to help institutions assess and implement block chain related solutions. Through the alliance, Accenture and Digital Asset Holdings will collaborate on innovative solutions for banks, brokerages and infrastructure providers that Accenture will implement as a preferred systems integrator.
Accenture will provide a range of consulting and technology services under the agreement – from feasibility studies, business case assessments and operating model design to advisory services on systems architecture, cybersecurity and cloud consulting, through to full-scale systems integration.
Digital Asset’s distributed ledger solutions improve post-trade processing efficiency and security, while reducing cost, latency, errors, risk and capital requirements. The relationship with Accenture will enable Digital Asset to increase the scope and scale of its reach, while aligning resources and capabilities to deliver the highest levels of consistency and quality to clients globally. Accenture was a participant in Digital Asset’s investment round that raised more than $60 million in funding last month. Accenture’s newly launched blockchain practice consults for several major banking institutions and regulators.
Accenture’s blockchain practice brings together global resources from the company’s consulting, strategy, digital, technology and operations services. It helps clients define distributed-ledger strategies, implement business-model transformations, create and protect technology architectures, and enhance the end-user experience.
“Accenture is a renowned leader in large-scale systems transformation and the development of complex technology infrastructure,” said Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset. “Working together, we can dramatically accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology globally. Our products and software combined with Accenture’s expertise at integrating new technologies with existing systems will help institutions reduce settlement latency, risk, operating costs and capital requirements.”
Linux Hyperledger Project
Recognizing that blockchain technology has the potential to dramatically change the global capital markets industry, Accenture has participated and invested in several key innovation initiatives. This month the company became a premier member of the Linux Hyperledger project, an open source project to advance the blockchain digital technology for recording and verifying transactions. More than 20 companies are involved in the program, including Digital Asset Holdings. Accenture has also established a Blockchain Center of Excellence in Sophia Antipolis, France, which provides access to technical and business expertise in blockchain and distributed-ledger capabilities. The company also has a strategic relationship with Ripple, a provider of global financial-settlement solutions.
According to conservative industry estimates, blockchain technology could save the financial services industry more than US$20 billion annually by 2021. Research firm Aite Group predicts that investment in new blockchain-enabled financial technologies will more than quintuple over the next four years, from an estimated US$75 million in 2015 to US$400 million by 2019.
“Blockchain and distributed-ledger technologies enable the financial industry to move away from reconciliation-based processes that are expensive and inefficient,” said David Treat, managing director and global head of Accenture’s capital markets blockchain practice. “Our new practice, which builds on the strong growth of our global capital markets business, can help clients move from concept to production in the shortest possible time, improving efficiency and unlocking new revenue streams.”
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