Day 1 at Consensus: Blockchain is the new platform of trust

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The first day of Consensus 2017 was full of exciting developments and insights about blockchain. Since last year, individuals and companies exploring and working with the distributed ledger technology have had some really positive responses, and everyone was eager to discuss their progress.

In the morning, the senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research, Arvind Krishna, delivered a keynote describing all the cool things that IBM is doing to help pave the way for companies to put blockchain networks in production. The technology is being used in a variety of industries:

  • Everledger is reducing fraud by using blockchain with cognitive to track the provenance of diamonds.
  • Maersk is driving efficiency in global trade logistics by using blockchain to provide a single, verified version of the truth.
  • The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is working to eliminate the need for disjointed, redundant processing capabilities in derivatives post-trade lifecycle events by using distributed ledger technology.

What IBM is doing is extraordinary, but I’ve thought a lot about why I am part of the IBM Blockchain team and it’s not just about the technology. I’m here because I see blockchain poised to change the world.


The future is coming fast and furious: technology has reached into every corner of our lives. However, there are still a lot of unknowns. As we’re dealing with this acceleration of technology, I see Blockchain emerging as the trust platform for the future. The technology has the capacity to transform the lives of so many:

  • The two billion people who will join the formal economy over the next few decades.
  • Parents, who want to make sure the food they give their children is healthy and safe.
  • Artists, who want to share their art with the world.
  • Farmers who want to make sure their goods get to global markets.
  • Migrant workers who want to send money home to their families.
  • Companies looking to make our lives better, safer and healthier.
  • Governments looking to keep their citizens safe, attract tourists and grow new industries.
  • Individuals looking to control and manage their identity and privacy.
  • Dreamers looking to change the world with code.

This innovation is coming from every corner of the globe and is happening faster in markets like Dubai, Singapore, Korea, China and Africa. I started my time in IBM Blockchain training hundreds of clients and IBMers across the Middle East and Africa to think about how blockchain can help industries and individuals leapfrog their current economic realities.

To achieve this promise of a trusted future, IBM advocates for blockchain that is:

  • Openly governed to avoid conflicts of interest and murky motives.
  • Scalable to deliver trust to six billion people as well as thousands of companies and trillions of transactions.
  • Secure to ensure the privacy and rights of individuals and businesses.

The way I see it, IBM is but one node in the network: we are working with developers, startups, nonprofit organizations, companies and so many more to build this global platform of trust. It’s real. It’s here now. We’ve worked with over 400 clients and 5,000 developers, and we are just getting started. In fact, IBM recently announced the Blockchain Founder Accelerator program to help founders get to production by the end of 2017.

I’m excited to see how people plan to use this new platform of trust, and I’m looking forward to helping bring those plans into production.

Be sure to connect with the IBM Blockchain community:


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