Today the Institute of Banking (IoB) in Ireland announced a new blockchain credentialing platform in collaboration with the Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and Deloitte. Qualifications and ongoing professional education can be verified using the blockchain in line with the Central Bank of Ireland’s Minimum Competency Code for financial institutions.
The aim is to enable banks to have a single view of all their employees’ qualifications and learning and for employees to have a wallet containing all the data. The Institute hopes that other professional bodies in Ireland might be interested in using it. Credentialing was also the focus of a similar PwC project for the Scottish Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Talking about the blockchain project, The Institute of Banking CEO Mary O’Dea commented: “More than 23,500 members hold a professional designation with The Institute of Banking and, ultimately for us, it’s all about sustaining the highest professional standards for the benefit of the customers who are served by the financial services industry.”
The pilot is meant to complete in the summer and the platform is expected to go into production a year later. Deloitte developed the project using the Ethereum blockchain.
The IoB commented that the project was well received by the government. “This initiative between Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank, Deloitte and the Institute of Banking is an excellent example of how, through collaboration, Ireland is delivering real change and preparing the country for the future,” said Ministor of Finance Paschal Donohoe. “I fully support the development and adoption of new technologies like blockchain, as a way to encourage digitalisation and foster innovation.”
Yesterday the Minister published a speech about the role of government within the blockchain ecosystem. He emphasised the importance digitisation as a catalyst for inclusive and sustainable growth.
The Irish Times ran a headline about the speech saying “State ‘paying lipservice to blockchain’”. But Ireland is one of a small number of countries which is becoming a blockchain hub.
Accenture has a Dublin innovation centre, Deloitte has a blockchain lab and ConsenSys has a Dublin office. Two of the highest profile enterprise blockchain companies are incorporated in Ireland. They are we.trade the trade finance startup owned by 13 major banks with IBM as technology partner. And TradeIX the ING-backed technology partner behind the Marco Polo trade finance network which recently announced plans to hire 70 staff in Ireland.