Professional services giant PwC has set up a blockchain team at its Belfast office as it seeks to exploit and commercialise the technology behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
The firm has already hired 15 technology specialists for the venture and says it plans to expand aggressively, building a 40-strong team by the end of the year as it makes a deeper push into fintech.
The most hyped technology of the last year, blockchains have been touted as a panacea for the world's ills (much to the annoyance of some). Just days ago, Mark Walport, the UK's chief scientific adviser, urged the government to adopt distributed ledger tech to run key public services like tax collection, benefits and the issuing of passports.
Steve Davies, Emea fintech leader, PwC, says: "There’s clear evidence that banks, institutions and even governments are looking at blockchain technology as a secure storage and distribution solution.
"Now there is growing interest and a real demand from our clients to help understand the implications of blockchain and how to respond to it. So, as the blockchain juggernaut continues to gather pace, PwC will be well placed to service our clients’ needs at a global level."