25 June, 2018
In the corporate world, there’s an increasing interest in blockchain technology and what it can do for business. A study by Deloitte found that 74 percent of executives from major corporations see a “compelling business case” for the use of blockchain—and 84 percent believe that blockchain technology will reach mainstream adoption.
Given these positive indicators, it’s no surprise that IBM is leading the charge to help bring blockchain to the forefront of innovation. The company has a public cloud service called IBM Blockchain—powered by the open-source Hyperledger Fabric spearheaded by the Linux Foundation—where interested users can build their own secure blockchain networks for a variety of purposes.
IBM has also partnered with leading innovators around the world to implement blockchain technology and transform industries for the better.
VERDE by Veridium Labs
Just last month, IBM announced its partnership with Veridium Labs in an initiative to make it easier to trade carbon credits. To this end, Veridium Labs created an environmental and social impact offset token called VERDE.
The way it works: a “carbon charge” is embedded into each VERDE token, which gives it an Emissions Offset Capacity. If you think of each VERDE as a battery, then all of the digital offset tokens together work like a bank of batteries. When the tokens are used in EcoSmart Trades, a portion of their carbon capacity is discharged.
As Veridium Labs puts it, when the VERDE tokens are used in this manner, “the underlying environmental impacts (such as the carbon footprint of products) are automatically mitigated and quantifiable positive social impacts are created.”
Batavia by international bank consortium
IBM partnered with Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group, and investment banking company UBS to develop a blockchain-based trade finance platform. A few months ago, the platform passed its first live pilot transactions, including the trading of textiles from Austria to Spain and cars from Germany to Spain.
The Batavia platform uses blockchain to automatically execute smart payments and close trade agreements, which are then permanently recorded on the digital ledger. The successful live transactions prove the potential of the technology and its ability to transform the paper-intensive trade finance process.
As described by Niko Giesbert, who serves on the divisional board of fixed income, currencies & commodities and trade finance and cash management at Commerzbank, “Trade data and smart payment, which is automatically triggered by the transport data, form an important basis for risk management and financing instruments and add value to every supply chain.”
Food Safety Alliance with Walmart & JD.com
Together with Walmart and Chinese retailer JD.com, as well as Tsinghua University in Beijing, IBM is working to improve food safety and tracking in China. This collaboration has given rise to a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance for the global food system.
When Walmart first began testing blockchain technology for use in the food system, they found that food tracking could be accomplished more quickly and accurately than ever before. Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart, pointed out that each segment of the food system “does business their own way, mostly on paper or disparate systems,” making the supply chain difficult to trace.
With information on the blockchain, however, tracing a shipment of mangoes from start to finish took only 2.2 seconds instead of days or weeks. For food safety, this means that announcements can go out much faster about which food shipments have been contaminated or are otherwise risky to consume.
IBM believes in the power of blockchain to change the business world. Marie Wieck, IBM’s general manager of blockchain initiatives, is even calling upon governments around the world to adopt blockchain technology. According to Wieck, implementing blockchain in businesses and governments could contribute an estimated $3.1 trillion of value-add to the global economy by 2030. Now that’s something we can stand behind.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.