Friday, October 12, 2018

IBM and blockchain: what is the giant's interest?

IBM and blockchain: what is the giant's interest?

For more than a century of its existence, IBM has become a large-scale multinational giant, which gained well-deserved fame due to the production of high-quality computer hardware and software.

IBM and blockchain

Following Google and Amazon, recently immersed in the blockchain industry, IBM decided to keep up and invest a truly huge amount of money in innovative technology.

Currently, IBM has more than 1,500 employees engaged in 500 blockchain-based projects from various spheres of life, including banking, logistics, health and food safety.

The Corporation has recently partnered with Columbia University scientists to explore new uses of technology. The Center of research, education and innovation in the field of blockchain technology and data transparency was established on the basis of the educational institution. The center leverages Columbia University's academic strengths in science and technology, business and law, combined with IBM's extensive research and development experience.

At the end of August 2018, IBM launched a platform based on the Stellar Protocol that provides instant cross-border payments. The platform is available to 97% of the largest banks that are IBM customers.

After numerous high-profile events of the past year, including the scandal with the data of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica (millions of profiles of users of the popular social network were used without the consent of their owners for political purposes), the blockchain division of IBM has made a lot of efforts in the field of independent sovereign identification. The ultimate goal of this project is to guarantee users reliable protection of their personal data.

IBM priorities

There are several reasons for IBM's massive interest in blockchain technology.

First of all, it is the indisputable fact that the technology of distributed registers is becoming a mainstream. Research by Gartner (a consulting company specializing in information technology markets) says that by 2025 the value of blockchain business technology will reach $176 billion, and by 2030 will exceed an incredible $3 trillion.

If the forecast turns out to be correct, IBM, as one of the pioneers of the industry, will receive fantastic dividends. The company is well aware that the introduction of innovative technology greatly improves the efficiency of business processes.

Among the areas with the greatest potential should be noted:

Supply chain management. With the help of distributed registry technology, it is possible to achieve economic efficiency, simplify the production process, accelerate and transparency of payments, transfer of property rights.

Quality control. The technology allows you to quickly identify the source of any irregularities in the supply chain. Investigations in this case take less time and money. And some production areas, such as the food industry, thus acquire a new level of safety.

Application of "smart contracts". Any company with their help will save significant money by reducing the number of intermediaries and the ability to automatically implement all stages of the agreement.

Based on this, IBM has identified three industries that will bring the greatest dividends in the future: health, Finance and shipping. These are very massive areas, and investments should be appropriate.

What is the risk to IBM
There has been a lot of talk about blockchain lately. Technology raspiarili in the media and seems to be a panacea for all ills. On the other hand, there is a whole army of skeptics who do not appreciate innovation and doubt its prospects, and some even believe that the technology is dangerous. Both positions are reasonable, since the society is only at the beginning of the road and has not yet come to the end to realize what application the blockchain will find in the future.

However, IBM is among those corporations that are safely pushing the boundaries of business, if we are talking about the innovative projects. Evidence of this is more than a century of activity of the company. On hearing all the story of the creation of the supercomputer Watson. The project, which began in 2006, did not bring the expected profit, but made a breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence. And although investors believe that the dividends from the supercomputer, they will not see at least a few years, the development of AI does not stop.

Probably, in order to avoid similar errors, in the situation with the blockchain, the Corporation will act more carefully.

The impact of the project

Distributed registry technology today is as new an area as artificial intelligence. Too little time has passed to be able to objectively assess the scope of the project. There are many angles that need to be ironed out, and many questions that have yet to be answered.

The whole world is building assumptions about when the blockchain will tightly enter the life of society. But even if the new technology is soon integrated into the sphere of interests of millions of users, IBM will see positive financial results much later.

How much effort and money IBM will invest in the development of projects based on the blockchain and their popularization, largely depends on the mass introduction of technology in all spheres of life. Such open innovation giants like IBM eventually change the world.

And if at the same time the company will work on the errors with Watson and make the right alignment, it will receive an undeniable advantage over competitors in the use of blockchain technology for a long time.