As we head into Sibos 2017, one of the world’s premier global financial services conferences, it is exciting to discuss the entirely new level of trust and transparency blockchain can bring to industry, and the business value it can drive.
Organizations are now in a race to capture the tremendous business value potential of blockchain technology that promises to open the door to new business experiences, transform industries, optimize ecosystems and reduce risk across business networks.
By eliminating inefficiencies created by lack of trust and transparency, removing intermediaries in business processes and creating innovative networks — blockchain is streamlining the exchange of value across ecosystems.
For many organizations, trying to capture the power of blockchain can sometimes quickly become what I call “blockpain.” In today’s digitally networked world, no single institution works in isolation. Blockchain is a team sport designed to deliver optimal value by creating networks of networks. There can also be significant challenges in bringing together diverse stakeholders when forming new ecosystems.
Blockchain networks and ecosystems are usually only as:
strong as its weakest member
fast as its slowest member
rich as its poorest member (who may be struggling to find funding)
secure as its most insecure member
smart as its least-informed member
So, what differentiates blockchain trailblazers from blockchain “fail-blazers?” It’s a combination of things. It’s strategic alliances that enable quicker design, development and adoption of digital ledgers, digital identity, and trust and transparency. It’s also extensive blockchain expertise, an enterprise-grade technology platform and a robust, flexible ecosystem.
As a leader in open source blockchain solutions and an early member of The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, we are dedicated to supporting the development of openly governed blockchains. We are working with hundreds of organizations across industries in the areas of financial services, supply chain, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain solutions.
We are making strides with many global banking clients. For instance, four major banks have joined a trade finance initiative launched late last year by Switzerland-based UBS and IBM. Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank and Erste Group are now taking part in the project, which is being built on top of the open source Hyperledger Fabric framework. The platform, dubbed Batavia, was first unveiled in October, 2016 at the Sibos banking conference in Geneva.
We are also helping transform other industries. A great example of this is our relationship with Walmart, using the IBM Blockchain platform to help enable transparency in Walmart’s supply chain. The result was a 99 percent decrease in time to track food from store to source. Walmart and IBM are now expanding to a wider focus on the company’s food safety ecosystem. In addition, IBM formed a collaboration with ten leading retail and food companies, including Walmart, Nestlé, Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Tyson Foods and Unilever. IBM already has more than 400-plus blockchain engagements across six continents, and more than 11 live networks, but this is only the beginning. We continue to explore, innovate and expand blockchain capabilities to deliver insight and solutions that can provide measurable results to our clients.
For more information on how we’re trailblazing with blockchain, we hope you’ll meet with us in Toronto at Sibos 2017. Visit the IBM Booth at E08 at Sibos in the Metro Toronto Convention Center. You can even schedule a meeting.
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