Last week, attendees at IBM InterConnect 2017 got to learn more about advances being made in security, cloud and mobile. Through use cases and demos, they saw how emerging technologies are being leveraged in various implementations. One of the hot topics this year was blockchain, the distributed ledger technology underlying Bitcoin that is now making waves in other industries.
The conference may be over, but there are still many resources available. Check out the highlights below to see what you missed or to review your favorite parts.
The blockchain revolution
Blockchain is transforming fundamental business processes and the way people transact. It makes it possible for business partners to exchange digital, or digitized physical, assets without the need for powerful intermediaries. In an interview with @theCUBE (video replay), Don Tapscott called blockchain “the second era of the internet.” He further discussed how blockchain can reshape business in his session (video replay).
In an interview with @theCUBE (video replay), Ramesh Gopinath of IBM said that blockchain “is all about increasing trust in business transactions.” He discussed the fundamental properties of blockchain that make it a “trusted” database. However, if blockchain is to work in enterprise, it must be built on enterprise-grade systems.
In the blockchain keynote (video replay), Jerry Cuomo and Ross Mauri of IBM, talked in depth about blockchain for business. One important aspect is keeping blockchain open, which is why IBM is a founding member of the The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, an open community for defining blockchain software for business.
At InterConnect, IBM announced the new release of IBM Blockchain, the first managed enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0.
Blockchain and identity
IBM and SecureKey Technologies are working together to tackle tough challenges surrounding identity, another important aspect of blockchain for business. They are developing a network designed to make it easier for consumers to verify their identity in a privacy-enhanced, security-rich and efficient way. In an interview with @theCUBE (video replay), Marie Wieck of IBM and Greg Wolfond, CEO of SecureKey Technologies, discussed identity management and creating trusted networks through the verification of participants.
Blockchain in production
In the welcome keynote (video replay), Leanne Kemp called blockchain “the most transformative technology and exponential opportunity of our time.” She went on to describe how Everledger is operationalizing blockchain technology in the diamond industry. By digitizing diamonds on a shared, distributed ledger, stakeholders across the supply chain can verify the authenticity and provenance of diamonds using a single source. In the blockchain keynote (video replay), Kemp shared the story of Everledger and talked about the future of blockchain beyond the diamond industry. Her talks illustrated how blockchain is not a conceptual technology anymore but is being used in production.
Blockchain and cognitive
Also in the welcome keynote (video replay), Donna Dillenberger of IBM demonstrated how smart contracts created through cognitive technology such as IBM Watson can be used to track compliance of diamonds on the blockchain. She ended with the thought that blockchain paired with cognitive can be used to “outthink problems and accelerate shared discovery.”
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