Banks have been exploring the multiple ways they can benefit from blockchain. And major IT service providers do not want to be left behind. They are investing and extensively researching into the various possible solutions that the technology could be leveraged into. Here is a list of IT companies that have been active in this space:
IBM has been one of the earliest IT companies to announce their plans of exploring blockchain. It has formed multiple partnerships at various levels proving their interest in blockchain. It has released a report stating that blockchain could be an elegant solution for the IoT. In January 2015, it revealed a proof-of-concept for ADEPT, a research project for IoT using P2P blockchain technology. There has also been unconfirmed news that IBM is in talks with the US Federal reserve and other central banks in building a currency solution that would be based on blockchain but without bitcoin and instead would be able to connect real currency and be regulated. Innovate Finance, a UK-based not-for-profit membership organization had announced that it would open a blockchain lab in partnership with Hartree Centre, a Big Data research facility formed as a partnership between the UK government and IBM. IBM was also associated with conducting the HackCoin Hackathon at Mumbai, the first hackathon focused on bitcoin and bitcoin-based application in India.
Capgemini is growing an in-house community which is experimenting in the blockchain area across its worldwide network. Two of their team members had won the second prize at the HackCoin Hackathon organized in Mumbai, India. Their payments center of excellence has been actively partnering with external organizations to understand the impact of blockchain. They have also recently reported that they are extensively researching the area from their Sogeti Labs (part of CapGemini’s worldwide expert connect initiative) and would be presenting their initial findings in the near future.
Accenture, in its posts and white papers, has made references of how blockchain needs to evolve beyond payments/bitcoin and grow into technology which provides security, privacy and speed at lower costs. It believes that blockchain enabled with smart contracts would drive efficiency, reduce counterparty and custodian risks, and reduce legal costs. They have also recently published a white paper called Blockchain in the Investment Bank.
TCS, in its white papers Banking, As We Don’t Know It, Yet! and The Bank of the Future provides insights on blockchain and the multiple use cases that it can be applicable in financial services. TCS also has a team, working on building applications on blockchain like providing investors decentralized securities clearing.
Cognizant Technology Solutions has been reportedly working on building payment and settlement system solutions. They have also been associated as partners, or as a sponsor, for events with participation from blockchain technology related startups.
When compared to its peers—TCS and Cognizant—who have been working on blockchain solution for over a year, Infosys has entered the blockchain exploration phase recently. However, it has taken some aggressive steps and is seen as building in-house expertise (with around 20 members in Bangalore and Palo Alto offices) as well as developing a partnership with other players in the blockchain ecosystem. It is also looking at integrating blockchain into its flagship core banking product, Finacle. They have also partnered with Innovate Finance and are expected to invest or partner with startups in blockchain.