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Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, International Finance Services (IFS) Skillnet, and Technology Ireland Ibec, recently held their latest techBREK event. 

The subject of the learning and networking session was ‘Harnessing the potential of Blockchain and Digital Assets’. The event was hosted as part of the European Year Skills 2023, which aims to give a fresh impetus to lifelong learning, empowering people, and companies to contribute to the green and digital transitions, supporting innovation and competitiveness. 

About the ‘Harnessing the potential of Blockchain and Digital Assets’ techBREK

Business and technical executives in the financial services and broader business world gathered at Ibec’s Dublin city centre office, on the morning of Tuesday, September 19th, for the latest techBREK. The event provides a forum for businesses to get up to speed on what’s happening in a particular area, and facilitates a discussion informed by both financial and technical expertise. 

According to the Deloitte 2021 Global Blockchain Survey, the vast majority (80%) of participants say their industries will see new revenue streams from blockchain, digital assets, and/or cryptocurrency solutions. These technologies are seen as key infrastructure to facilitate the integration of digital assets in corporate balance sheets. According to consultancy firm McKinsey, while buffeted by the recent market downturn and bankruptcies, digital assets, and the technologies underlying them, still have the potential to transform business models across sectors. 

Speakers at the techBREK included Lory Kehoe, Chair of Blockchain Ireland and Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin. 

The techBREK heard that stablecoins – a type of cryptocurrency structured so that its value is tied to another asset class to keep a stable, steady value – are enabling faster settlements with lower costs across the financial world, with the market in 2022 hitting $11 trillion (€10.35 trillion). Describing the use of stablecoins as evolutionary rather revolutionary, Mr Kehoe contextualised that figure by drawing parallels to payments giant Visa’s annual figure of $11.6 trillion (€10.91 trillion). This “overshadows” the numbers posted by PayPal and Mastercard during the year, which were $1.4 trillion and $6.57 trillion, respectively, said Mr Kehoe. 

Having explored the developments in technology, and their impact and potential in the financial world, the event concluded with an expert-led panel discussion. Deborah Hutton, managing partner, DEH Law; Mai Santamaria, head of Financial Advisory Unit, Department of Finance Ireland; and Fiona Delaney, CEO, Origin Chain Networks, and strategic lead at, brought unique perspectives from their areas of specialisation, adding context from legal and regulatory, government and public services, and start-ups and SME views.  

Find out more about the techBREK series

Further information about the techBREK series can be found on the Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet and International Finance Services (IFS) Skillnet websites.

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