On Monday, IBM announced a new version of its enterprise-grade deployment of IBM Blockchain (Blockchain offers companies the ability to create, run, and monitor distributed ledgers on IBM’s cloud). The company also announced several commercial applications of IBM Blockchain that are either already in existence or will soon be deployed by a wide range of companies, including authentication provider SecureKey, financial-services company Northern Trust, and a Chinese carbon-allowance trading company.
The blockchain concept was popularized by Bitcoin, the virtual currency that uses a distributed ledger to track transactions, which can be verified by any member of the group. In the wake of Bitcoin’s popularity, IBM and other large companies across various industries started molding blockchain software to apply to purposes beyond exchanging money. These purposes could include tracking shipments across the globe, providing transparency to credit default swaps, or verifying identities across multiple banks.
IBM announced its commercial blockchain service last February, and it has been partnering with select companies to try out blockchain deployments for the past year. The company notably paired with Walmart late last year to manage recalls as the retailer tracked food and drug shipments around the globe.