RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – In an emerging technology field – blockchain – where multiple vendors are developing proprietary solutions, IBM is partnering with nine financial institutions and a London-based data solutions provider to create what they believe will be a platform that has broad appeal.
As tech news site ZDnet notes such a technology solution has “the potential to improve and augment current financial systems.”
IBM is making blockchain – a public ledger of activity on the bitcoin network, for example, that is supposed to be tamper-proof – a key part of its future strategy as it moves further into artificial intelligence and data analytics.
Its partner in this blockchain effort known as LedgerConnect is London-based CLS, which provides a variety of settlement, processing and data solutions.
“Together IBM and CLS have been early pioneers in advancing blockchain solutions for the financial services space,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain, in announcing the new effort Monday.
“Building on the success of CLSNet and leveraging the strong relationship CLS has with the world’s leading financial institutions, LedgerConnect is uniquely positioned as a blockchain marketplace for the financial services industry, which will accelerate innovation across the ecosystem with value added services for blockchain networks.”
The proof of concept effort also includes Citi, Barclays and numerous other vendors.
CNBC notes that “a large number of companies offering different DLT products” and that “some banks are working on their own technology.”
But will such systems be compatible?
“IBM’s LedgerConnect platform is hosted on a single network,” CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal says. “It aims to be a one-stop shop for financial institutions to create blockhain applications.”
IBM and CLS said blockchain efforts “can be cost prohibitive and time-consuming for each vendor, bank, or consortium to create and operate its own unique DLT infrastructure for multiple services when proven technology already exists.”
The say LedgerConnect “aims to solve this problem by providing a single shared and highly secured network on which multiple services can be deployed and consumed.”
IBM operates one of its largest campuses in Research Triangle Park and employs several thousand people across North Carolina.