Blockchain Weekly Recap 4-9-2016
Red Hat Announces OpenShift Blockchain Initiative
Open source service provider Red Hat announced this week that it is launching what it is calling the OpenShift Blockchain Initiative. The new development project targets financial companies interested in experimenting with blockchain technology, and will enable the company’s customers to create distributed ledger applications on a platform that offers a combination of Red Hat support services and ISV tools.
The venture is designed to help Red Hat better leverage its blockchain and open source experience, and comes on the heels of the February revelation that the company is participating in the Hyperledger project. In keeping with Red Hat’s commitment to openness, the company has indicated that it will work to create inclusive criteria for those seeking to use the platform, ensuring that it is as accessible as possible.
JPX to Partner with Nomura Institute for Blockchain Trials
In an announcement this week, Japan Exchange Group (JPX) provided details about its planned blockchain trials partnership with the Nomura Research Institute. The two entities will cooperate on a planned proof of concept trial designed to test the technology’s applicability for securities markets that generate a lower volume of transaction data. In its press release, JPX praised the blockchain’s potential benefits, but also highlighted perceived technical problems that would need to be addressed before the technology could be useful on a more widespread basis.
Delaware Partnership with Symbiont to Bring Blockchain Smart Contracts to State
Delaware’s Governor, Jack Markell, recently announced that his state has entered into a partnership with distributed ledger smart contract firm Symbiont in an effort to help bring the benefits of blockchain technology to companies in the state. A Delaware legal firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, is also participating in the initiative, providing much-needed legal support for the endeavor.
Markell has expressed his commitment to establishing the state of Delaware as a haven for blockchain technology by providing an inviting infrastructure and environment for businesses seeking to realize the advantages of smart contracts and other blockchain applications.
IBM Envisions AI-Powered Blockchain
IBM has revealed that its current experiments with the blockchain apparently include efforts to create a merging of its artificial intelligence protocol and distributed ledger technology. The company’s chief architect for IoT (internet of Things) security, Tim Hahn, has reportedly spent the last three months working to introduce IBM’s AI computer – better known as “Watson” – to the blockchain. Hahn’s efforts thus far are focused on discovering how the blockchain can be useful for risk management within the IoT ecosystem.
Bank Blockchain Trial Trades Credit-Default Swaps
A Wall Street Journal Article this week broke the news that a group of financial firms - Citigroup, BoA, Credit Suisse Group, and JPMorgan – had cooperated in a blockchain experiment focused on the derivative contracts known as credit-default swaps (DCS). The experiment reportedly demonstrated that the use of blockchain technology greatly simplified the clearing and settlement aspects of the CDS contracts, indicating that distributed ledgers could improve efficiency and reduce transaction costs in this area of finance.
Bank of Ireland Partners with Deloitte for Blockchain Trial
The Bank of Ireland recently revealed that it partnered with Deloitte in an effort to utilize the blockchain in conjunction with its existing legacy transaction systems. The test was designed to evaluate whether the new technology could help the bank realize the benefits associated with distribute ledgers without replacing those older systems.
The bank has reported that the experiment was a success, and that it could be a real breakthrough for other financial institutions as banks across the EU move forward to ensure that they are in compliance with the requirements of the new Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive that goes into effect in 2018.
That initial test involved only data transmission, so additional experiments are needed to evaluate the potential for transmitting actual value - while also dealing with scalability concerns. The Bank’s innovation manager, Stephen Moran, asserted that the current blockchain transaction latency of seven actions per second could be elevated by a bank to as many as 20,000 transactions per second.