A number of tech giants and leading banks including IBM, Intel, Cisco, JP Morgan, London Stock Exchange Group, and State Street have now come forward to create a blockchain project they are calling the ‘Open Ledger Project’, overseen by Linux Foundation.
From the Linux Foundation:
Blockchain is a digital technology for recording and verifying transactions. The distributed ledger is a permanent, secure tool that makes it easier to create cost-efficient business networks without requiring a centralized point of control. With distributed ledgers, virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded. The application of this emerging technology is showing great promise in the enterprise. For example, it allows securities to be settled in minutes instead of days. It can be used to help companies manage the flow of goods and related payments or enable manufacturers to share production logs with OEMs and regulators to reduce product recalls.
According to a report in Wired.com, this open source project aims to build blockchain-like technology that can bring a new level of automation and transparency to a wide range of services in the business world, including stock exchanges and other financial markets.
“The current blockchain is a great design pattern,” says Jerry Cuomo, vice president and chief technology officer of IBM’s software group TOLD WIRED. “Now, how do we make that real for business? What are the key attributes needed to make that happen? That’s what this organization is about.”
“I don’t have a strong opinion on cryptocurrencies, but I have a strong opinion on the blockchain as a solution for contracts and supply chains and the internet of things, Cuomo says. “I think Bitcoin is an interesting application for blockchain but there are thousands of applications and wider use cases beyond that.”
Cuomo imagines a use case where a car buyer will one day purchase a new vehicle and, while signing the paperwork, the new title is issued, her insurance is updated and the money transfers are moved to the appropriate accounts, all before she drives the car off the lot. Because the technology will be available through the Linux Foundation, developers at the DMV could find code for building a title-tracking block chain and adapt it to their needs at a lower cost, than hiring specialists to build it for them.
The bank might have a different bloc chain-based system in place for transferring loan information and another for moving money. Those two could overlap. Cuomo says these systems could eventually form a web. It sounds complicated, but so is the current world of moving money and global trade.
“I don’t believe there will be one blockchain to rule them all,” Cuomo said.