Deloitte has announced plans to create 50 jobs in Ireland over the next 18 months in the areas of development and design.

The plans come after the firm chose Dublin as the base for its Financial Services Blockchain Lab for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Blockchain is a coding technology that allows a number of parties to track and record transactions without the need for a central database, which makes it less susceptible to tampering and fraud.

The technology is a cornerstone of "crypto currencies" like Bitcoin. Firms like Deloitte are increasingly looking at its potential application in the wider financial services industry.

The company recently announced partnerships with five leading blockchain technology companies as part of its global blockchain initiatives. 

Managing partner at Deloitte Ireland Brendan Jennings said the strength, expertise and proven capability of the Deloitte Ireland blockchain team was recognised when the parent company decided to locate the new lab here.

He also said the proximity to the headquarters of many global technology companies, its strong focus on innovation and research and development and the support from government institutions, academia and the local FinTech industry were all key factors in securing the investment.

IDA Ireland's chief executive Martin Shanahan said that Deloitte's decision to locate the lab here is a "great endorsement of the technical expertise available here". 

"Deloitte's EMA Financial Services Blockchain Lab will be an important reference site for IDA Ireland as we work to attract additional investment from technology-focused professional service companies to Ireland," he added.