UBS, a major Swiss bank, will open a technology lab to explore the potential uses of the blockchain in the financial industry, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The project will run at the Canary Wharf in London, starting this April. Members of the research team will look at new solutions that the blockchain can offer to the financial industry, operating “in a more efficient and cost-effective way”.
Oliver Bussmann, group chief information officer at UBS, said:
“Fostering an open and collaborative environment between banks, start-ups and the investor community is essential to ensure we focus on promoting synergies between us, accelerate innovation opportunities and create real value for the industry.”
UBS AG is the biggest Swiss bank. It is based in Zurich and provides financial services worldwide. It is considered to be the world’s largest manager of private wealth assets, with over 2.2 trillion Swiss francs in invested assets, and is a leading provider of retail and commercial banking services in Switzerland.
Banks and financial institutions, as well as large business corporations, have expressed a lot of interest in the blockchain technology underlying bitcoin. The Barclays Accelerator has selected three companies that use the decentralized ledger to take part in their intensive course for fintech innovation this spring in London.
Intel Labs has been reported to look for a researcher with expertise in “public ledgers” to join their team in order to create “cutting-edge cryptographic algorithms”. IBM allegedly started researching the blockchain technology to develop a system of payments similar to bitcoin for major fiat currencies like the euro and dollar. Finally, the UK government suggested increasing the amount of research funding into technologies underlying bitcoin by £10 million last month.