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IBM: The Corporate Blockchain

On February 4th 2018, I found myself in the same position as many other Americans. I spent the day lounging on the couch surrounded by friends and family, the scent of cheese sauce and nachos permeated my nose, beer cans began to stack up, and everyone’s eyes were glued to the TV for the better part of the day. It was American football’s greatest day of the year: The Superbowl.

For most Americans, watching the game is crucial, but the part of the game I long for the most is the commercials. The obligatory NFL commercial, the Jeep commercial, the Budweiser Clydesdale’s, the IBM Blockchain commercial… Wait, what?

That Sunday was the first day I had ever seen blockchain technology advertised on TV. Being in the business, I had of course heard of IBM’s blockchain before. My friends and family however, were confused or didn’t care what it was. Little did they know of IBM’s progress towards becoming the world’s corporate blockchain superpower. Since February, IBM’s blockchain power has only continued to grow.

IBM has invested time and money into blockchain development for over five years now. In the beginning, their research was similar to that of other blockchain companies. Efforts were primarily focused on the IoT (internet of things) and the capabilities it would bring them in the future. They began their ADEPT project with Samsung in 2016 which focuses on proof-of-concept technologies. One of the first experiments between Samsung and IBM was the development a washing machine that could reorder its own detergent and replacement parts.

That was only the beginning.

IBM’s Partnerships

IBM’s blockchain platform is a combination of their own technology and the Linux hyperledger. Their blockchain is not only completely functional, but is capturing the attention & business of many industry leaders.

IBM has partnered with multiple international banks including the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and China’s UnionPay Bank IoT’s project. IBM is also partnering with corporate businesses including Maersk, Nestle and the American retail giant, Walmart.

IBM has worked with Walmart since 2016. The main goal behind their partnership is to help improve food safety by developing better tracking efficiency. The food trust tracking platform launched in June of 2018. According to a report, certain Walmart produce suppliers (described as the leafy greens suppliers) have until September 2019 to install and effectively use the food tracking software. Not only is this software going to help ensure the quality of food, but it is also helping everyday users track their orders more efficiently. Before it was a laborious process to find out where a package was and sometimes even inconclusive. Since Walmart’s installation of IBM’s blockchain tracking software, inquiries on packages have decreased.

Though IBM’s partnership with Walmart receives a lot of hype, IBM’s blockchain is capable of much more. Not only are they changing the game of tracking, legal documents and even washing machines, but they’re bringing the versatility of blockchain tech to smaller businesses.

When you look at IBM’s blockchain home page, there’s no discriminatory message that’s meant to steer away smaller business. IBM is looking to incorporate their technology into any and all industries.

IBM is leading the blockchain industry, solving problems left and right. Many corporations are now looking towards IBM for guidance on how to incorporate blockchain into their business ventures.

Microsoft is trying to catch up, but will they?

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