Over the past few years the financial services sector has steadily increased its interest in blockchain - the digital ledger that provides a public and permanent record of a transaction. Blockchain's advocates say that it has applications far beyond financial services - with some saying that Ireland could become a hub for global blockchain activity.

Joseph Lubin, who co-founded the cryptocurrency Ethereum and founded blockchain software firm ConsenSys, is one of those who believes that Dublin could become a blockchain hub. He said his company is here for the talent - technical, engineering and entrepreneurial - as well as the belief in the actual technology of blockchain, which he predicted will have positive ramifications on the economy for years to come.  

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ConsenSys is New York headquartered but it has a number of international offices, including one in Dublin. Mr Lubin said the Dublin office has grown from three people about six months ago to 33 today, and it is on track to hit 50 or more by the end of this year. He also predicts the Dublin office will see its workforce hit 100 by the end of next year. He said the talent the company has found and recruited in Ireland has been "exceptional". 

Mr Lubin said it is not very difficult to attract people to the "Web 3.0 world". Facebook, Google and Twitter all featured in the Web 2.0 world, essentially they built a world where we are the product. "Web 3.0 puts us in control of our identity and will give us more economic agency," Mr Lubin stated. 

Joseph Lubin said that while the company has been aware of the housing shortage in Ireland, it has not been affected by it. He said all but one of its Irish workforce was already located here and so already had a home.

MORNING BRIEFS - The Securities and Exchange Commission in the US has filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk, which could see him lose his position as CEO of electric car company Tesla. The SEC is alleging securities fraud by Musk after he tweeted last month that he had funding secured to take his company private.
Tesla shares have fallen by almost 12% in after hours trading following the news.

*** The ESB has reported a 4.5% rise in revenue in the first six months of the year to €1.77 billion. However the semi-state's operating profit fell 18% to €244m, which it blamed on a poorer performance at its generation, wholesale and Electric Ireland divisions. The ESB has approved a €30m dividend to the state for the six month period. This compares to €55m in the same period of 2017.

*** Forecourt operator Applegreen says it has conditionally raised €175m through the placing of new shares.
The money will go towards its €360m acquisition of a majority stake in British motorway service group Welcome Break, which was announced in early August.