Deloitte: Bitcoin Is Vital to Understanding the Blockchain

The Bitcoin ATM installed in the lobby of Deloitte’s Toronto office is intended as a permanent fixture, said the co-founder of the company’s blockchain solutions group, Rubix.

Also read: Bitwala: ‘Nobody Uses Altcoins,’ Bitcoin Is the Top Crypto

The Bitcoin ‘Lightbulb Moment’

DeloitteIliana Oris Valiente, business development manager and co-founder of Rubix, Deloitte’s blockchain solutions arm, told Bitcoin.com of the “lightbulb moment” clients experience when actually performing a bitcoin transaction for the first time.

That same phenomenon has been described by many in the Bitcoin community as an experience that made them see the technology’s true potential, and as a trigger to become more deeply involved.

Oris Valiente said:

“It’s the best way to illustrate the power of the technology when you have a client from a different country and you can send them the currency without going through any banks, and there’s a clear recognition that there were no connective intermediary in the process. Once they’ve wrapped their head around that, you see a lightbulb moment.”

While several companies in the finance world are actively exploring the possibilities of blockchain technology in a number of use cases, most have shied away from using the word “Bitcoin” itself or admitting they actively use the digital currency.

Rubix and Deloitte are bucking that trend. Oris Valiente said when her project was founded in 2014, Bitcoin was its entry point and the only working example of blockchain technology — itself a term which hadn’t been widely used yet.

“From our perspective we’ve never shied away from Bitcoin as a virtual currency,” Oris Valiente said. “We’ve just simply followed our clients’ interest in using distributed ledgers for uses beyond currency.”

Machine a Permanent Fixture

Iliana Oris Valiente at the unveiling of the BitAccess BTM in Toronto
Iliana Oris Valiente at the unveiling of the BitAccess BTM in Toronto

Rubix/Deloitte’s bitcoin machine is no temporary promotion, either. It has purchased the BTM outright from Canadian supplier BitAccess, and has no plans to remove it from the lobby.

Oris Valiente noted that since reports of the soft-launch appeared a few days ago, many clients had shown an interest and sent messages asking when they could visit the office themselves for a hands-on experience.

She added that, despite the public demonstration of blockchain technology’s best-known and most widely used application, Rubix remains “technology agnostic” in its projects and is always looking for the most appropriate solutions for its clients’ needs.

Rubix has also been active in the Ethereum community, the Bitcoin open source community, and is exploring a number of the other blockchain and distributed ledger technology platforms out there.

The company works with large enterprise clients, with a couple of major industries as a key focus. These include healthcare, supply chain, loyalty points and a few others.

Bitcoin the Best Introduction to Blockchain Tech

The Bitcoin ATM and use of Bitcoin itself, however, is still the best way to give newcomers a personal experience of this new technology and how it could change the way business works.

Oris Valiente said:

“From our perspective, we’re doing this to help people get more comfortable with the technology, because generally if it’s unknown, it’s foreign, it makes it a little bit harder for people to wrap their heads around. Our goal is really broad education and adoption of technology.”

Fellow “Big Four” auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has made similar supportive comments about Bitcoin in public, saying that using the currency is key to understanding its disruptive potential, rather than viewing it as a threat to the financial world.

Do you agree that more companies should be encouraging their clients to use Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Deloitte.

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Jon Southurst has been interested in bitcoin since reading Neal Stephenson's 'Cryptonomicon' in 2012. A long-time tech writer, he has been a regular contributor at CoinDesk and has written for Kaiko.com, DeepDotWeb and ancient print publications. He lives on an artificial island in Tokyo.