Just how important and how big is blockchain technology?
That is the ongoing debate that will soon be all the rage; coupled with the fact that blockchain has refreshed some of the veteran tech giants like Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and IBM.
Microsoft, Oracle, and its rival SAP made separate announcements in 2017, in November, October, and September respectively.
However, in all this, perhaps the one old battleship of big tech that would take the crown among those now transitioning into the new technology is IBM.
Ranked the top among blockchain technology providers in 2017, IBM was one of the first to recognize the possibilities that come with blockchain’s distributed ledgers, and made its contribution code to HyperLedger – an open-source effort by Linux Foundation.
They also encouraged startup businesses to test run blockchain for free on its cloud, and these efforts are finally bearing fruit.
Blockchain’s demand is steadily increasing and IBM believes it will be one of the biggest users in 2018 at more than 60 data centers it has rented out to other brands worldwide.
According to Panos Mourdoukoutas, Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at LIU Post, New York, he believes IBM is a ‘better bet than Bitcoin on Blockchain’ as the promise it holds to change the world, is stronger.
This, Professor Mourdoukoutas says, makes IBM a ‘better long-term investment’ compared to using digital currency.
In fact, IBM is offering blockchain for financial services, which it believes will translate to more trust for all in a bid to make trust the financial world’s universal currency.
In doing this, IBM intends to bring new simplicity, transparency, and efficiency to all financial transactions, while eliminating the old processes and paperwork with newfound innovation, cooperation, and speed.
It’s already happening either way as financial institutions are leading the way forward with IBM’s blockchain for the sector, as they work together to create new solutions, remove long-standing friction, and deliver tangible business outcomes.
The Big IBM Stake
Sometime in May this year, IBM announced an investment of $5.5 million to build a blockchain solutions center in Sao Paulo, Brazil – the first of its kind in the country – in addition to other such centers in U.S., England, Germany, Canada, and Japan.
Additionally, IBM is currently working on more than 400 blockchain projects across the globe, over and above its lead in universal quantum computing.
In 2017, the tech giant together with its first clients including Daimler AG, JPMorgan Chase, and Samsung, began working to deploy the IBM Q in a bid to explore its applications for science and business, practically.
IBM leads in various other promising technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Internet Security, making it a better bet in terms of long-term investment.
But what does all this mean and what does it bring to the market?
Donna N. Dillenburger, an IBM fellow, explained this by saying that IBM is creating a system that its clients can be confident in based on secure and verifiable information.
Blockchain coupled with IBM’s enterprise security provides the mechanism to bank on data in scalable ways for any sector from food safety, to banking, supply chain or healthcare.
Dillenburger added that a repository of trusted data gives you a foundation for analytics that you can use to share information responsibly for the greater good of your business and the society.
Sectors Applied to
- The shipping and logistics industry such as its new collaboration with Maersk in March 2017
- Financial sector such as its deal with seven major banks in Europe in June 2018, for which it intends to build a platform based on blockchain for trade finance so as to facilitate international trade for SMBs.
- Food safety, where IBM, in August 2018, announced a major blockchain consortium that will work with it to improve food traceability and identify food safety through provision of trusted information on both the origin and/or state of food.
These are just a few of the notable examples of the over 400 clients IBM is working with to implement its blockchain applications. Other sectors include supply chains, risk management, IoT, and digital rights management.
IBM’s bet on blockchain technology is proving to be fruitful for the firm what with the increased and renewed interest around its technology, while lending it more respectability in emerging technologies.
AI is one such example which is moving parallel and transforming the professional spectrum in a big way. AI and Blockchain is going to be a great combination. Not only AI resonates with encryption but has the potential to manage blockchain better than humans.
Its endorsement of blockchain and the notion that it provides an extra layer of trust, makes people believe that good things are about to happen.
Thus far, IBM has bagged some clients and projects, rising stock prices, a fresh infusion of energy in the company, and a fresh look from analysts in technology and stock markets, and respectability among tech buyers.
Author: Roberto Garvin, co-founder of Mofluid. It is absolutely amazing to see how technology continues to evolve, from email to browsers, search engines, mobile, AI and now blockchain. I am fortunate to witness it all. Really excited to see what’s next!