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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.
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.