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After Microsoft R3CV Deal, Bank of Ireland Shared Blockchain Trial

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 5:10 p.m. ET

Bank of Ireland shared successful blockchain trial in April 2016

Previously in this series, we discussed how tech players like Microsoft (MSFT), Red Hat (RHT), and IBM (IBM) are making moves to advance blockchain technology.

On April 5, 2016, the Bank of Ireland (IREBY) stated that in collaboration with Deloitte, the bank has successfully finished a joint proof-of-concept blockchain trial. The bank’s trial demonstrated the application of a distributed ledger as an available data layer over current financial systems while keeping the focus on trade reporting.

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The Bank of Ireland noted that the research showed an improved customer experience and regulatory oversight, which was available at a lower cost than the traditional banking systems. Stephen Moran, innovation manager at Bank of Ireland, stated, “While blockchain technology can be seen as disruptive, it can actually complement a bank’s existing legacy systems.”

Financial services are agreeing to the disruptive nature of blockchain technology

Garrick Hileman, economic historian at the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge in the UK (EWU), stated, “2015 was very much the year of the blockchain for financial services. They clearly see the disruptive potential of the technology and are keeping their cards close to their chest regarding how they want to play it.”

These financial organizations can opt for a public or private blockchain. In January 2016, R3CV disclosed that it is in the process of developing a private blockchain system that is restricted or requires permission. On the other hand, the Bitcoin blockchain is a public blockchain with an open and transparent database, wherein anyone who has Bitcoin can acquire access to record transactions on it. As the above chart shows, the number of Bitcoin blockchain users have increased tremendously since 2012.

Investors who wish to gain exposure to Microsoft could consider investing in the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK). While XLK invests ~10.6% of its holdings in Microsoft, it also has an exposure of ~38% to application software.

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