Accenture is launching a specialised practice geared at helping financial institutions implement blockchain technology and distributed ledger solutions.
The announcement comes on the back of a strategic partnership with blockchain developer Digital Asset Holdings and will see both parties collaborate on developing "innovative solutions" for banks, brokerages and infrastructure providers.
Accenture's managing director of global capital markets practice, Owen Jelf, said the new specialised practice within the company's financial services group will help improve operational efficiency, security and client service, as well as capture new revenue opportunities via the widespread adoption of blockchain technology.
"Blockchain-enabled technologies are poised to bring huge benefits to the financial services sector over the next decade," Jelf said.
"By forming this practice, we can help the industry unlock scalable and transformative uses of this innovative technology."
Accenture claims that by harnessing blockchain technology, the financial services sector could stand to save more than $US20 billion annually by 2021.
Research conducted by Aite Group in December last year echoed these sentiments, forecasting a surge in investment in new blockchain-enabled financial technologies over the next four years — from US$75 million in 2015 to $US400 million by 2019.
Accenture's managing director and global head of capital markets blockchain practice, David Treat, said that blockchain and distributed-ledger technologies allow the financial sector to move away from reconciliation-based processes, which he said are "expensive and inefficient".