Called ‘Industry Platforms’, the division will be led by Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s former senior vice president of Global Business Services. Further, as part of the launch, IBM’s entire blockchain leadership will make the transition to the unit, first announced last September.
The implementation, which will help its financing unit resolve disputes with customers and partners, could send a signal to a market where enormous amounts of money have been invested in blockchain companies and their technology. The move also will make IBM one of the largest organizations to date to shift beyond limited tests of the emerging technology to real-world business transactions.
Headquartered in the SoHo offices of Galvanize, the workspace is the latest of IBM’s Bluemix Garages, physical workshopping destinations that provide a venue for its technology consulting services.
The project was announced in December, but got its first serious impetus back in February when IBM slung its blockchain code into the effort. During this month, the project has coalesced further, and is on the prowl for more contributors. A joint proposal between IBM and Digital Assets has now become “Fabric,” an incubator-level project (under active development but not yet production-ready) that the two hope will form the foundation code base of Hyperledger.
As a debate raged across the internet Monday over whether the mysterious founder of the bitcoin digital currency had finally been identified, executives at a major bitcoin conference in New York had a simple message: we’ve moved on.
That’s because bitcoin, the digital currency, has largely been supplanted by blockchain, the technology that underlies it, as the main interest of investors, technology companies and financial institutions.
“If there is a 100 percent opportunity in the blockchain, bitcoin, or the currency, is only 1 percent of it,” said Jerry Cuomo, vice president, Blockchain Technologies at International Business Machines Corp. “So there is a whole 99 percent that has broad applications across the broad industries.”
The company claimed that its IBM Cloud platform will allow enterprise clients to deploy production blockchain networks in minutes, running signed, certified and tested Docker images with dashboards and analytics as well as support.
The new cloud services have also been optimized for cloud-based blockchain networks by providing an auditable operating environment with comprehensive log data that supports forensics and compliance, IBM said.
IBM’s vice president of blockchain Jerry Cuomo, who recently gave testimony before US Congress about the uses of the technology, likes the idea of a revolutionary IoT, blockchain-enabled insurance paradigm for driverless cars. Or perhaps it’s the more day-to-day business of migrating supply chains to blockchain.