Blockchain Weekly Recap 2-20-2016
IBM Blockchain Strategy Announced; Includes BaaS Offering
IBM has been getting more vocal about the blockchain in recent weeks, with company officials like John Wolpert citing the need for more market collaboration to ensure that companies are able to realize the technology’s full potential. This week, however, the IT behemoth finally got specific about its own plans for bringing blockchain tech to its customers.
The announced strategy includes integrating IBM zSystems, Bluemix Garage, and the Watson IoT platform into the company’s own BaaS offering. By launching its own blockchain-as-a-service option for its customers, IBM joins Microsoft as the only two major technology firms to provide such offerings. Unlike Microsoft’s product, however, the IBM service is less open and more committed to ensuring that business clients have access to a blockchain fabric that is ready-made for supporting business applications.
French Pols: Finance Sector Jobs Threatened by Blockchain
In news that is sure to cause worry among the great mass of humanity that remains woefully underserved by the world’s banks and financial service firms, two left-wing political parties in France are expressing concerns about finance sector employees being displaced by emerging technologies. France’s Left Front and Communist Party joined together to release a document that explores how Big Data, the blockchain, and other technologies could thoroughly disrupt the banking world, making many skilled positions obsolete. You can download the full document (in French) here: Digital Revolution, or read the first page on the Left Front site.
HyperLedger Project Announces Members, Code Proposals
The Linux Foundation’s HyperLedger Project issued a press release recently in which the blockchain group offered a number of revelations. The announcement provided details about the identity of the 30 founders, as well as various code proposals from the companies in the group. The release also revealed that the group has formed a technical committee to provide oversight, and developed its open governance structure.
In addition to the previously announced code offerings from Digital asset and IBM, it has now been revealed that code contributors include firms like Ripple and Blockstream. Perhaps more important for those outside of the financial industry is the news that the HyperLedger collaboration will not be focusing solely on blockchain applications for the finance world. Instead, the group intends to take a broader approach designed to provide new solutions for business processes across a wide spectrum of industries.
Dubai Blockchain Research Council Formed
In a press release dated today, The Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation revealed that it is forming a research council to study blockchain technology and explore applications both inside and outside the financial sector. The 32-member council will consist of several government offices, major technology companies like Microsoft and IBM, and a number of blockchain startups.
European Central Bank: Blockchain worth Exploring
The European Central Bank may not be thrilled about digital currencies, but recent statements indicate that it is interested in the technology that powers them. A recently-released consultation report examines the various technologies underlying European payment and securities settlements, and reveals that the ECB considers the blockchain worthy of further examination:
“The emergence of new technologies such as “blockchain” or “distributed ledger technologies” is currently giving rise to many talks, studies and publications and a number of actors in the industry are already evaluating the impact that such innovations may have on the provision of financial services. As part of its vision, the Eurosystem intends to assess their relevance for the different services it provides to the banking communities (payments, securities settlement as well as collateral). This investigation will identify opportunities that these new technologies may provide, as well as the challenges that they create.”