Turbotodd

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Archive for the ‘blockchain’ Category

IBM Launches Blockchain Accelerator Program

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IBM today announced the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator to help enterprises and enterprise developers take blockchain networks into production faster.

The accelerator is the first program available that provides expertise and support across the technology, legal and business considerations of establishing new blockchain networks. Enterprises can join to gain exclusive access to technology and consulting expertise.

As an expansion of the blockchain ecosystem program, the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator is designed to address the key challenges many early adopters and enterprise developers have identified through the development of leading blockchain networks. It aims to share this collective knowledge with enterprise founders to drive the rapid adoption of production blockchains.

The program provides one-on-one mentorship and support by network founders and technologists across a range of needs such as business case development, network membership incentives, technical development, governance and legal issues.

In addition, members of the Founder Accelerator will receive early access to new prebuilt software assets, delivered via IBM Cloud, to help reduce the time and technical expertise needed for developers to write complex blockchain code.

These assets are based on IBM experience in building blockchain networks with more than 400 clients globally. Along with IBM’s established blockchain cloud services, these new capabilities will help clients rapidly create highly secure, cloud-based blockchain ecosystems.

IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator

Eight new blockchain network founders will be selected by IBM for this fee-based accelerator across a range of industries such as banking, logistics, manufacturing and retail. The program provides organizations with guidance, support and technical expertise to get their networks up and running and supporting an ecosystem of users and partners by the end of the year. Scholarships are also available.

Program participants will gain access to:

  • Design Thinking Workshops – Based on the principles and methodologies of IBM’s global network of Bluemix Garages, network founders will get access to agile design “bootcamps” designed to help them quickly build, iterate and launch the networks, leveraging the best practices and founder experience gained from over a dozen blockchain networks in production.
  • Founder Mentorship One-on-Ones — Technical and business mentors from IBM Research team creating Blockchain solutions and assets, IBM Labs contributing to and helping maintain Hyperledger Fabric (a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation) and the IBM Bluemix Garage delivering blockchain projects, as well as major contributors to Hyperledger Fabric and early users of IBM Blockchain will work directly with the participants and provide counsel including code review and business coaching.
  • IBM Cloud Services — IBM technology resources will be available to founders, including IBM Blockchain solutions via IBM Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform. Bluemix hosts IBM’s enterprise-ready blockchain service that supports the Hyperledger Fabric. All participants will also receive up to $120,000 worth of IBM Cloud credits to fully leverage the ecosystem, as well as access to IBM Bluemix Garage sessions for development.
  • Co-Marketing Potential –Participants will work with IBM and our blockchain ecosystem to position themselves as technology leaders through joint marketing opportunities.

“As a founder of security and privacy solutions addressing the cost and complexity of complying with regulatory requirements such as the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, the guidance and support that IBM provided us in bringing DataPassports to market was invaluable in accelerating the development and delivery of our blockchain based services,” said Kevin Ellison, CEO, Schedule1.

Fast-Track Development with Pre-Built Blockchain Software Assets

New software capabilities via the IBM Cloud are based on experience from IBM’s largest blockchain initiatives and experience with production blockchain networks across shipping, manufacturing, supply chain and finance. Designed to help organizations speed the deployment of code from months, to just a few days, participants in the program will have first access prior to the general availability of the code.

These assets include IBM innovations incorporated into major projects across global trade digitization, supply chain finance, transaction settlement, procurement trade finance, supply chain visibility and food safety. Initial software assets include:

  • Document Store – allows network members to store and control documents and related events in a security-rich environment. This provides a source of validation to support mission-critical business processes where the lack of proper documentation can delay outcomes and potentially void the transaction.
  • Provenance Engine– maintains a comprehensive history of industry assets, both physical and digital, throughout their lifecycle, from creation to decommission as immutable transactions. It provides the capability to track an asset’s owner, location and status, and any supporting documents relevant to the asset at each stage of the business process.
  • Process Engine – provides all workflow orchestration on the blockchain network. It provides tamper-resistant document maintenance and authorization features, and answers communication requests among network members to support each transaction’s integrity.
  • Member Management and Onboarding – enables identity management of members in the blockchain network, including the registration and authorization of member organizations and their individual users.

The software assets will complement Hyperledger Composer, a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks, and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Hyperledger Composer is an open source tool for developing and deploying chaincode, and the efficient development of business logic in Smart Contracts.

Organizations can learn more about pricing and apply to the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator program by visiting http://ibm.com/blockchain/accelerator.

Written by turbotodd

May 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

IBM And Chile’s Santiago Exchange To Deliver First Securities Lending Blockchain Solution

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IBM and Chile’s Santiago Exchange, the largest in the country, today announced a partnership to introduce blockchain technology across the country’s financial sector.

The agreement makes the Santiago Exchange the first stock market in Latin America to apply IBM Blockchain technology within its short selling system for securities lending. Blockchain works as an immutable ledger that records transactions, allowing secure information exchange.

Built by IBM and Chile’s Santiago Exchange, the solution is designed to help reduce errors, possible fraud, and processing time for each transaction, while also improving transaction management and lowering costs. In the case of the Santiago Exchange, the solution will result in significant time savings for the back-office processes.

“The Stock Exchange is a technologically advanced company, which provides the infrastructure and systems for all types of securities transactions and their clearing and settlement.  The Stock Exchange also provides information services and management systems for intermediaries. Incorporating blockchain into our business processes is in line with that purpose and positions us as a forerunner in the financial market,” said the Santiago Exchange CIO, Andrés Araya.

IBM Chile General Manager, Francisco Thiermann, highlighted the fact that the Santiago Exchange is the first stock exchange in Latin America to implement a securities lending blockchain solution. “Our agreement with Santiago Exchange marks another new era of innovation in the stock market. Santiago Exchange is a pioneer in its industry, and the blockchain adoption establishes a transformational precedent in the financial market, not just in Chile but in this region and the world,” he said.

The solution developed by IBM is based on the open source Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. The solution is expected to be widely available to support multiple parties across the financial industry ecosystem this year.

Written by turbotodd

May 17, 2017 at 11:02 am

Mizuho Bank And IBM Japan Building Trade Financial Platform With Blockchain

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Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank and IBM Japan today announced they are building a blockchain-based trade financing platform for trade financing. With the platform, Mizuho is aiming to streamline trading operations and improve supply chain efficiency.

The timely and highly secure exchange of trade documents is essential for stakeholders in the supply chain ecosystem. Digitizing trade information on the blockchain can help change the way information is shared, infusing greater trust into transactions to make it easier for parties involved in the supply chain, including exporters, importers, shippers, insurance companies, port operators and port authorities, to share critical shipment data in near real-time.

Mizuho Financial Group is working with IBM Japan to ultimately conduct actual trade transactions based on Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Specifically, the project exchanges digitized letters of credit for actual trade transactions between Japan and overseas clients. As the letter of credit is digitally shared among parties including importers, exporters and their banks, it is expected to simplify the associated document creation and exchange processes, which have traditionally been time- and paper-intensive.

Also, the system will enable all parties to view the latest shipment status data, which can result in reduced trade transaction and processing costs.

“We are pleased to be the market leader in Japan in powering our processes and workflows with distributed ledger technology and continue to work aggressively towards expanding our portfolio of its implementations across the group,” said Daisuke Yamada, Managing Executive officer and Chief Digital Innovation Officer of Mizuho Financial Group. “The global expertise in digital technology of IBM complements our vision and has opened further avenues for us to tap the potential of distributed ledger in transforming our processes and workflows for better enterprise agility, transparency and regulatory reporting.”

This first phase of the project will lead to Mizuho conducting actual trade transactions using blockchain in June 2017 advancing the trade financial platform for commercialization. Mizuho continues to utilize new technologies, like blockchain, for innovative and better financial services for customers. Mizuho worked with IBM on another blockchain pilot focused on currency settlement.

IBM launched IBM Blockchain on Bluemix for organizations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain on Bluemix here.

Written by turbotodd

April 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

IBM and NUS Partner On FinTech and Blockchain Training in Singapore

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FinTech Week NYC may have swung into full hyperledger mode, but IBM continues to forge new blockchain initiatives and partnerships around the world.

Most recently, the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing and the IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation (ICBI), a part of IBM Research, have announced a collaboration to jointly develop a module on financial technology, to better equip students with essential knowledge and skill sets in this area.

Blockchain is a fast growing area across the globe, with banking, healthcare and the government leading the way in terms of adoption. According to studies by IBM’s Institute of Business Value, these three industries are investing heavily in blockchain and commercial solutions are expected to be in place in the next few years.

  • Leading the pack in blockchain banking: Trailblazers set the pace: Fifteen percent of banks and 14 percent of financial market institutions interviewed by IBM intend to implement full-scale, commercial blockchain solutions in 2017. 65 percent of banks are expecting to have blockchain solutions in production in the next three years.
  • Healthcare rallies for blockchains: Keeping patients at the center: Healthcare institutions are going all-in – investing heavily in blockchain pilots, with nine in ten respondents planning to invest by 2018 across all business areas IBM surveyed them about.
  • Building trust in government: Nine in ten government organizations surveyed plan to invest in blockchain for use in financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance by 2018.

The Singapore government’s strategic goal to become a Smart Financial Centre has put focus on blockchain for Singapore. Through its Financial Sector Technology & Innovation (FSTI) scheme, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has committed S$225 million (US$157 million) over a five-year period to provide support for the creation of a vibrant fintech ecosystem.

Among the projects that have been backed by the scheme is a decentralized record-keeping system based on blockchain technology aimed at preventing duplicate invoicing in trade finance.

The new module on financial technology is expected to be introduced in January 2018, and will focus on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. It seeks to equip students with an understanding of the fundamentals of the technology behind distributed ledgers, and its diverse use cases, from banking to digital currencies to supply chain management. 

NUS faculty members will co-develop the curriculum of the new module with IBM researchers at ICBI to enable students to learn about the latest developments in blockchain technology, and encourage them to contribute to developing the technology further. 

The module will be co-taught by NUS academic staff and ICBI staff who will use financial technology software such as Hyperledger Fabric, one of the five projects under the Hyperledger umbrella, to deliver the course content. Hyperledger Fabric was initially contributed by IBM. Such software will also be made available to NUS researchers for research purposes.  Such software will also be made available to NUS researchers for research purposes. 

Under the collaboration, ICBI will provide technology support in the form of access via the IBM Cloud to the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework. IBM is an early contributor Hyperledger, a Linux Foundation project, which now contains more than 129 member organizations.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain initiatives here.

Written by turbotodd

April 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

Three Essential Blockchain Adoption Principles

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IBM today announced that it has identified three key elements of enterprise blockchain adoption for c-suite leaders to consider when evaluating the technology for business use.

Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, is quickly making its way into the enterprise, potentially becoming as revolutionary a technology for business transactions as the internet was for communications in the late 1990s.

In the supply chain and logistics industry alone, the technology could potentially help save billions of dollars annually and significantly reduce delays and spoilage. Its potential impacts are far-reaching; according to the World Economic Forum, reducing barriers within the international supply chain could increase worldwide GDP by almost five percent and total trade volume by 15 percent.  

To best derive value from blockchain technology, IBM recommends that enterprise adopters across supply chains and other key industries including financial services, retail, energy and others develop a close understanding of five key elements of the technology:

  • Blockchain has the potential to transform trade, transactions and business processes. The two concepts underpinning blockchain are “business network” and “ledger.” Taken together, these are what make blockchain a smart, tamper-resistant way to conduct trade, transactions and business processes. Network members exchange assets through a ledger that all members share access to. The ledger is synced across the network with all members needing to confirm a transaction of tangible or intangible assets before it is approved and stored on the blockchain. This shared view helps establish legitimacy and transparency, even when parties are not familiar with one another.
  • The value is in the ecosystem as the blockchain network grows. As a business network, blockchain can include several different types of participants. Depending on the number of participants in a blockchain network, the value of assets being exchanged and the need to authorize members with varying credentials, adopters should observe the difference between “permissioned” and “permissionless” blockchain networks. The real value for blockchain is achieved when these business networks grow. With a strong ecosystem, business networks can more easily reach critical mass allowing the users to build new business models and reinvent the transaction process.
  • Blockchain can significantly improve visibility and trust across business. Blockchains can reduce transaction settlement times from days or weeks to seconds by providing visibility to all the participants. The technology can also be used to cut excess costs by removing intermediary third-parties typically required to verify transactions. Because blockchain is built on the concept of trust, it can help reduce risks of illicit practices carried out over payment networks, helping to mitigate fraud and cybercrimes.

 

Speed, cost efficiency and transparency are among blockchain’s most significant benefits in the enterprise and within ecosystems of companies conducting trade. 

IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University
, for example, are exploring the use of blockchain to help address the challenges surrounding food safety. By allowing members within the supply chain to see the same records, blockchain helps narrow down the source of a contamination.

Blockchain is being rapidly explored today 

Real-world use of blockchain is underway. Everledger, a company that tracks and protects diamonds and other valuables via the blockchain, has started building a digital business network using IBM Blockchain to power its global certification system.

When combined with a highly secure cloud environment, blockchain technology can be used to help protect suppliers, buyers and shippers against theft, counterfeiting and other forms of corruption, while simultaneously demonstrating the origin of high-value goods for essential parties.

IBM is also working with multiple stock exchanges to test trading over blockchain in low-liquidity markets. A case study that supports findings from ‘Leading the pack in blockchain banking’ and ‘Blockchain rewires financial markets’ predicts that 15 percent of banks and 14 percent of broader financial markets institutions expect to have blockchain in-production at commercial scale this year, and 53 percent of banks believe they will move to a live blockchain network over the next two years.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

April 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

Natixis, IBM and Trafigura Introduce Blockchain Solution For U.S. Crude Oil Market

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Natixis, IBM and Trafigura have pioneered the first blockchain solution in commodity trade finance for US crude oil transactions.

The distributed ledger platform, built on the Linux Foundation open source Hyperledger Fabric, allows major steps in a crude oil transaction to be digitized on the blockchain, ensuring improved transparency, enhanced security, and optimized efficiency.

By having the buyer, seller and their respective banks all on the same ledger, all parties can simultaneously view and share data on the status of a transaction, from the time a new trade is confirmed and validated, to when the crude oil is inspected, to its final delivery and cancellation of the letter of credit.

This initiative is part of a broader effort to modernize trading in the global crude oil industry, which today is predominantly driven by manual, non-digital processes.

Key benefits of the solution include reduced cash cycle times, improved efficiency via lower overhead costs and fewer cost intermediaries, increased transaction visibility to help reduce the threat of tampering, fraud and cyber-crime, and the creation of transparent transactions by using shared processes and recordkeeping.

The new trading platform allows trade documents, shipment updates, delivery and payment status to be shared across a single shared ledger, helping to reduce transaction time, duplication of documents and authentication processes among all trading partners. Traditionally these transactions require complex workflows and paper-based processes in which documentation is shared through courier, fax and email exchange. The solution, which is hosted on IBM’s cloud platform, Bluemix, was led and delivered by IBM France.

“Natixis wants to use blockchain to enhance client service by optimizing the antiquated arena of commodity trade finance,” said Arnaud Stevens, Natixis’ New York Head of Global Energy & Commodities. “The current process is paper and labor intensive, we have multiple friction points with high processing costs and limited automation. Distributed ledger technology brings some much-needed innovation into our industry.”

The platform will soon be expanded to allow all parties in the transaction to enter data directly onto the blockchain. For example, the shipping company, pipeline operator, inspector or warehouse can provide real-time status updates via the blockchain on the crude oil transaction, helping lower the risk of fraudulent transactions.

More importantly, the distributed ledger for crude oil transactions is designed to be adopted at scale across the entire industry. By creating a shared permissioned ledger for use across all trading partners, including multiple buyers, sellers, banks and trading partners, even further efficiencies can be anticipated.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

March 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Singapore Fintech Startup INVICTUS To Use IBM Blockchain and Bluemix

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The IBM blockchain momentum continues to build.

IBM has announced that Singapore fintech startup, INVICTUS, is collaborating with the company to leverage IBM Cloud and blockchain technologies for their Order, Logistic & Payment (OLP) platform.

The platform aims to help business reduce waste, redundancy, and cash-flow issues in their transaction processes by disrupting the supply chain management cycle with blockchain smart contract technology.

As part of this collaboration, INVICTUS is also working with the IBM Bluemix Garage in Singapore to design a distributed ledger platform prototype on the Hyperledger Fabric, aimed at managing transactions between small and medium enterprises, suppliers, banks and other liquidity providers.

“INVICTUS offers more than an e-procurement platform. We focus on taking the chronic pain out of the last mile of a transaction by expanding access to financing from third party liquidity providers, in addition to banks. Through our blockchain smart contract technologies and working collaboratively with IBM, we hope to disrupt this last mile by enabling secure and cashless financing as early as the PO stage,” said Mr Lim Soon Hock, Chairman of INVICTUS.

“Being a start-up ourselves, we know running an enterprise with limited resources can be challenging. Working with the IBM Bluemix Garage team has been an eye-opening experience in showing us how companies can benefit from technologies such as blockchain which has the capabilities to improve operational efficiency and reduce transaction risks. We are very excited to see how our offerings will help SMEs become more productive and competitive,” said Jeffrey Lam, Chief Operating Officer & Vice-President of Sales of INVICTUS.

Blockchain is one of the advanced services available to developers on Bluemix, on which more than 120,000 apps are launched every month. IBM Bluemix has rapidly grown to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world.

Based on open standards, it features over 150 tools and services spanning categories of big data, mobile, cognitive computing, analytics, security, blockchain and Internet of Things.

You can learn more about IBM blockchain solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

March 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

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