IBM up­beat on blockchain po­ten­tial for busi­nesses


Pri­vate blockchain tech­nol­ogy will en­able the gov­ern­ment to im­prove ser­vices and bring new busi­ness mod­els to the busi­ness sec­tor, says IBM.

“With its de­cen­tralised fea­tures and se­cure net­work, blockchain can be the tech­no­log­i­cal foun­da­tion of many busi­nesses and gov­ern­ment ser­vices,” said Shyam Na­gara­jan, di­rec­tor for blockchain client suc­cess at IBM.

Pri­vate blockchain is gen­er­ally a per­mis­sioned net­work. It re­stricts who is al­lowed to par­tic­i­pate in the net­work. It can be ap­plied for data ex­change and trans­mis­sion among state agen­cies for smart gov­ern­ment, he said.

Last year IBM and Se­cureKey un­veiled a dig­i­tal iden­tity and at­tribute-shar­ing net­work based on IBM Blockchain, which is be­ing pi­loted in Canada. The net­work makes it eas­ier for con­sumers to con­trol what iden­ti­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion they share from trusted cre­den­tials to the or­gan­i­sa­tions of their choice, and for those or­gan­i­sa­tions to quickly and ef­fi­ciently val­i­date the con­sumer’s iden­tity and ar­range new ser­vices.

For ex­am­ple, if a con­sumer has proven their iden­tity with their bank and a credit agency, they can grant per­mis­sion to share their data with a util­ity to cre­ate a new ac­count. As the bank and the credit agency have al­ready gone through ex­ten­sive ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the con­sumer’s iden­tity, the util­ity can choose to trust the in­for­ma­tion is ver­i­fied, ap­prov­ing the con­sumer for new ser­vices.

Cana­dian con­sumers will be able to opt-in to the new blockchain-based ser­vice us­ing a mo­bile app, and will use the net­work to in­stantly ver­ify their iden­tity for ser­vices such as new bank ac­counts, driver’s li­cences or util­i­ties.

Mr Na­gara­jan said to de­ploy blockchain on a large scale, the reg­u­la­tor needs to cre­ate a frame­work com­pli­ance and net­work pol­icy that re­quires data pri­vacy law, li­a­bil­ity and ac­cess con­trol.

Pri­vate blockchain can be used with the In­ter­net of Things for a va­ri­ety of ap­pli­ca­tions such as as­set man­age­ment to track au­then­ti­ca­tion di­a­monds and the val­i­da­tion and track­ing of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights in the me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness to ver­ify how much con­tent is be­ing con­sumed for ac­cu­rate billing.

Cit­ing a Win­ter­green Re­search re­port, he said IBM con­trolled 32% of the US$700 mil­lion blockchain mar­ket in 2017.

Global re­search firm IDC Asia-Pa­cific fore­cast Asia-Pa­cific ex­clud­ing Ja­pan (APEJ) spend­ing on blockchain so­lu­tions will reach $282 mil­lion in 2018, up from $149 mil­lion spent in 2017.

The IDC World­wide semi­an­nual blockchain spend­ing guide projects APEJ’s blockchain spend­ing to grow at a ro­bust pace from 2016-2021, with a five-year com­pound an­nual growth rate of 90.7%, faster than pro­jected global growth of 81.2%.

Na­gara­jan: Pilot project in Canada

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