Forget what you know about Silicon Valley and the Canton of Zug. There’s a new blockchain and digital currency hub growing in the Emerald Isle of Ireland. In fact, Dublin is steadily becoming a place that has firm support, education and industry infrastructure within the cryptocurrency and digital ledger phenomena.
Deloitte Establishes R&D Team Providing 50 Blockchain Jobs in Dublin
Ireland is continuously on the horizon of technological innovation and is becoming quite the player within the rapidly growing Fintech global arena. Major technology players such as Google, Facebook, Paypal and many others have operations in the region and confidence is high between legacy financial institutions and the technology sector. The rise of research and development (R&D) of blockchain technology is also thriving within the country’s borders.
Just recently the financial management and consultancy firm Deloitte has announced it will create blockchain R&D department in Dublin. The group plans to construct a team of 50 developers in the next year and a half focused on the distributed ledger technology sector. However, it may take time as Deloitte Ireland’s head of financial services David Dalton told press skills in the blockchain field are still “quite rare.”
Dalton also details that Deloitte is already working on 20 different blockchain prototypes that cover a broad range of applications. Some of the technology being created use smart contract technology as well. Deloitte wants developers who understand the young technology in order to stimulate ideas, and standard practices. The consultancy will work within the proof-of-concept stages, but Dalton believes soon all major players will be involved with this technology. Dalton said in the announcement:
“This is relatively immature technology and one that is still in its early stage of development. There’s a long way to go until the standards are established as a platform,”
The Dublin-Based Circle Financial Spreads its Wings in the UK
Another company that works with Bitcoin directly is Circle Financial, who also have international headquarters located in Dublin. Circle is similar to Coinbase and has been becoming well known as a leader in the cryptocurrency space. The Dublin-based company has so far raised $76 million USD in funding rounds and also has offices located in the heart of Boston which also has a great deal of Irish population. The company is heavily backed by the legacy institution Goldman Sachs and alongside its Dublin offices, it also plans to work in London so it can expand throughout the entire UK. CEO Jeremy Allaire and co-founder Sean Neville were recently in London scouting for a country manager and is in discussions with UK regulators. Circle has been operating since 2013 and is one of the largest funded cryptocurrency firms working within the Irish landscape.
Blockchain & Digital Currency Academics Thrive in Ireland
Blockchain education and academic research is also blossoming in Ireland. At the beginning of the year, an event called the Economics forum Cantillon 2016 was held by the Centre for Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development (CEED) focusing on fintech and blockchain solutions. The event at the Institute of Technology Tralee had a broad range of Bitcoin evangelists including Coinality’s Dan Roseman, who spoke to the audience about the growing cryptocurrency employment opportunities within the industry. Alongside discussions about financial tech, Ms. Jan Skoyles of the The Real Asset Company gave the Irish crowd an introduction to cryptocurrency and crowdfunding.
On the 21st April, at the University, College Dublin Centre for Innovation and Technology (UCD) held a conference called Translating the Blockchain. The event was organized by the group CodingGrace and had speakers such as UCD’s Gianluca Miscione, and Paul Ennis, Deloitte’s Lory Kehoe and Cillian Leonowicz, and Stephen Wingreen all discussing the importance of blockchain technology. Topics included legal and regulatory policy, technical issues, ethical implications, governance, accounting, fintech, cybercrime, and decentralized applications.
Bitcoin is Very Popular Within the Emerald Isle Borders
Bitcoin use is also quite popular in the region as the organization Bitcoin Dublin has regular meetup groups. According to Coin ATM Radar Dublin has two working Bitcoin automated tellers as well in the city. Then there’s the Bitcoin Association of Ireland founded in 2013 that promotes cryptocurrency awareness throughout the country. The nonprofit organization has signed up a bunch of merchants to accept the cryptocurrency including an e-cigarette supplier, bedding business, a B&B, phone shop, and CCTV. Alongside meetup groups and the Foundation, Ireland also has it’s share of Bitcoin exchanges such as BitEx.ie which considers itself Ireland’s premiere destination to purchase and sell Bitcoin. The company set up the first Bitcoin ATM in Dublin and has a digital currency-based iPad application for merchants.
Dublin is growing to be a well-recognized fintech and cryptocurrency hub within the UK. Many parts of Europe and especially London has been said by the press to be the hotspots of financial tech innovation. Well, it seems Ireland is also sizzling with flourishing growth as well and aims to be a top destination when it comes to these technologies.
Source: Yahoo Finance, Bitcoin Association of Ireland, Forbes, BitEx.ie