Ireland’s Biggest Banks Begin Testing Blockchain Benefits for Authentication of Employee Qualifications


Blockchain technology has very vast applications and uses in many sectors. Already the banking, health, energy and many more are benefiting from using blockchain technology to improve their processes.

Just recently, Thailand’s oldest bank – Siam Commercial Bank – announced an official partnership with Ripple, to facilitate its cross-border payments. This was after an official test was run which, through Ripple’s Network, successfully reduced transaction speeds from 48 hours to 60 seconds.

There have also been other uses of blockchain technology in the banking sector. For example, one of the world’s biggest banks – J.P. Morgan – created its own JPM Coin, a stablecoin backed by the U.S. Dollar. Now, mainstream application for blockchain technology has gone up another notch as three of the biggest banks in Ireland have now begun deploying blockchain solutions to promote internal efficiency.

Blockchain Verification

Three of the “Big Four” banks in Ireland including the Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank, have entered into an official collaboration with Deloitte, a financial services firm, and the Institute of Banking. This collaboration is for the creation and deployment of a platform which will use blockchain technology to authenticate the credentials of its staff. This service has been touted as a pioneer solution in all of Europe.

The platform was created on Ethereum and was handled by Deloitte’s EMEA Financial Services Blockchain Lab, based in Dublin.

According to Mary O’Dea who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Banking, the platform seeks to significantly improve professionalism in the sector. She said it’s

“all about sustaining the highest professional standards for the benefit of the customers who are served by the financial services industry.”

Deployment

The blockchain verification platform is not currently fully deployed. At the moment, it is still being tested in a pilot stage that is expected to last until summer is over. Regardless, firms might not see full deployment until sometime in 2020 and it would be available strictly for members of the Institute of Banking, when it fully deploys.

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) has also earlier deployed a similar blockchain service. Smart Credentials, as the platform is called, is to be used by firms who wish to give out electronic copies of professional credentials to their staff.

Application for Other Sectors

The platform is also expected to have possible applications in the education sector as it can be used to authenticate and track credentials. A similar platform has already been deployed in Singapore where a project run by a few firms and backed by a government agency is already using blockchain technology to authenticate credentials. Blockchain is also being used to award certificates in some institutions.

These institutions have always had to print thousands of certificates and official verifications for graduates and also for firms who are looking to employ these graduates but want to verify from the school first.

The United States Customs and Border Protection have also officially started testing a blockchain based method of authenticating North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) certificates.

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