Blockchain Ireland launched last week with the ambition to lead the world in the fast growing Blockchain sector. The initiative is being led by Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and ConsenSys, the company established by Joe Lubin, one of the co-founders of popular bitcoin rival ethereum. The project aims to position Ireland as a centre of excellence for blockchain technologies.

The strategy is to promote innovation and co-operation across companies working with the technology and showcase Ireland as an ideal location for international businesses focused on the blockchain ecosystem.

This includes providing information on setting up a business in Ireland, available services and support for blockchain projects, upcoming events within the country, as well as an overview of the key domestic and international stakeholders within the blockchain ecosystem.

“This initiative will help foster an environment where ideas can be discussed, knowledge exchanged and experiences shared to strengthen the thriving blockchain industry in Ireland,” said Lory Kehoe, managing director of ConsenSys. “Blockchain Ireland is an exciting first step in positioning Ireland as a leader of a global decentralized future.”

ConsenSys recently announced plans to hire 60 people with the opening of a new Dublin-based innovation studio which includes a development lab where engineers will build and deliver ethereum-based blockchain platforms and products.

Ireland’s strategy has always been to identify and secure projects from leading technology companies. A number of Irish-headquartered start-ups, including Circle, AidTech and Arc-Net have developed solutions built on blockchain technology. 

In addition, Deloitte has a dedicated blockchain laboratory in Dublin while Mastercard recently announced plans to hire a number of experts in the technology for its Leopardstown-based lab.

The city of Dubai is taking steps in this direction as part of a plan to become the world’s first blockchain-powered government. It is seeking to have all government documents transacted digitally using blockchain by 2020.

Separately, Enterprise Ireland has announced a new EUR750,000 competitive startup fund for companies working in blockchain as well as other so-called deep tech such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things and augmented and virtual reality.
Commenting to The Irish Times, the Country’s chief information officer Keith Fingleton said

“This initiative will enhance the blockchain industry in Ireland and our position as a global blockchain centre of excellence.”

Kieth Fingleton