Let’s be honest. Cryptocurrencies have a growing and exceedingly loyal fan base. The true believers are fervent in their support of the impending decentralized future. They are the idealists, the futurists, the technologists - the ones who see blockchain technology as the natural successor to the current internet establishment.
Meanwhile, as recent market fluctuations remind us, not everyone is so convinced. Individual investors appear to be vacillating on the usefulness of digital currencies, and, institutional investment is not as fervent as many expected.
In contrast, blockchain technology, the technological backbone of the cryptocurrency movement, is quickly gaining notoriety. However, one of its most significant advocates isn’t the cadre of novel blockchain developers, it’s an incumbent company with more than a century of experience in the business arena.
Founded in 1911, IBM has continually been at the forefront of tech-minded business solutions, and blockchain technology is no different. The company launched its Hyperledger blockchain initiative in 2016, and they’ve been an aggressive supporter of the technology ever since. Related: Lira Bounces Back After Qatar Bailout Pledge
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, IBM’s senior vice president of global industries, platforms, and blockchain, Bridget Van Kralingen, predicted that
“tokens and cryptocurrency are the future.”
The company is backing up this sentiment with ambitious projects aimed at making blockchain technology more usable at the enterprise level. These initiatives are a big deal because of the prominence of IBM’s brand, but also because of the extensive resources that the company is allocating to blockchain innovation.
The Blockchain & Supply Chain Come Together
One area where IBM seems intent on making an impact is in supply chain management. This week, the tech juggernaut announced TradeLens, a blockchain-based shipping solution intended to facilitate global trade.
TradeLens was built in conjunction with Maersk, a shipping organization striving to improve the global supply chain. The partnership has already brought in nearly 100 organizations to pilot the ecosystem.
Perhaps most notably, this platform represents a direct use case for some of the blockchain’s most lauded features including its decentralized ledger and smart contracts. In total, this is the full-throated endorsement and implementation of blockchain technology that developers and decentralized enthusiasts alike are clamoring for.
Patenting Decentralized Databases
At the same time, IBM has filed a patent for using blockchain technology as a tool for database management. In general, this patent is aimed at deploying blockchain technology as a tool for securing databases against data hacks and breaches.
According to the document filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office,
“A blockchain database may be used to provide an incorruptible database tampering detection system (IDT-DS) to detect tampering with respect to a set of data stored in a central database linked with the blockchain database.”
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The system would be based on the permissions associated with the blockchain. As high-profile network hacks continue to make headlines, it’s no surprise that IBM would focus its efforts on database integrity.
These actions can be interpreted in several different ways. On the one hand, they epitomize the ongoing battle to control the future of blockchain future. The blockchain is frequently described as the third iteration of the internet, and many people expect that it will be an increasingly dominant expression of computing going forward.
IBM’s efforts also provide a measure of validation for the many eager startups supporting blockchain-based platforms. Clearly, they are onto something if companies with the clout of IBM are investing such prolific resources into the technology.
When taken together, IBM’s actions have considerable sway on the crypto and blockchain movement. Last month, Stellar, a decentralized organization with some similarities to Ethereum, received a big boost when IBM invested in Stronghold, a stable coin traded on Steller’s platform. However, their most recent product and patent announcements reflect the profound ways that the company is influencing enterprise adoption of blockchain technology.
By Bill DeLisle via Crypto Insider
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