With the recent introduction of IBM’s Blockchain-as-a-Service, IBM Blockchain for Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 beta program, we see a significant push for blockchain to enter the mainstream. We’ve already seen notable groups make moves towards exploring blockchain for their industries, including Nasdaq Linq and consortiums of Canada’s and the US’s biggest banks, but an enterprise offering further confirms and validates the use cases for existing businesses across all industries.
A Linux project, Hyperledger is an open, enterprise-grade distributed ledger framework and code base that has the ability to “transform the way business transactions are conducted daily.”
“It has become a way of organizing open source blockchain projects,” explains IBM Blockchain.
Fabric is IBM’s contribution. As a whole, Hyperledger Fabric “is an open source, modular, multi-channel transaction network built and maintained by the Hyperledger community.” Noted use cases include supply chain, capital markets, manufacturing, and healthcare.
An inherent value of blockchain? Compliance is at the very heart of the technology; instead of needing a regulator to monitor transactions for breaches, a blockchain’s code can set the rules with its network thereby maintaining compliance for each transaction.
Simply put, due to the nature of blockchain itself, the technology provides existing businesses with a much more efficient and cost-effective way of executing financial transactions, storing supply chain data for simpler reconciliation and ensuring trust and accountability across a wide and multi-layer network.
There have been multiple notable reports recently extolling these very virtues of blockchain technology, including a New York Times article discussing IBM’s partnerships with Walmart and shipping company Maersk to innovate supply chain management and an article from Harvard Business Review looking at how blockchain will transform the financial system. As such, where EDC sees the greatest benefit for mainstream adoption of blockchain is the increasing need for transparency - where appropriate, not all information across a distribution network needs to be shared with every party involved - secure transfer of assets and data, and easy dissemination of widespread communication.
EDC is early to develop blockchain technology dedicated to the capital markets, having built a public blockchain called Equibit; a decentralized platform that allows for the secure issuance and transaction of securities. Operating as an over-the-counter market, Equibit has a built-in client base; issuers and investors looking for enhanced security, efficiency, investor communications, and transparency within the typically shrouded markets.
Home to a majority of global trading volume, the Equibit blockchain provides issuers and investors with a much more streamlined OTC markets experience; no longer will there be a need for costly third party depositories or transfer agents, and trades and peer-to-peer communication will take place within the same platform.
Amongst groups looking to innovate existing business models with blockchain technology, a synopsis can be made: in order to successfully scale operations, businesses require improved methods of confidential and secure transactions between parties within a business network, a more streamlined system of communication in which information is transferred only between the necessary parties, and a network that ensures trust, transparency and accountability amongst users.
With security being one of the highest priorities for our increasingly digital world, blockchain technology is certain to move further into the mainstream. We look forward to being part of that momentum.