IBM Backs Blockchain Technology, Hails It as the Future of Digital Innovation

IBM recently concluded its 2018 edition of THINK, a conference that encompasses diverse digital domains and brings together some of the biggest names from the tech industry.

During the four-day long event which took place in sultry Nevada, the computing powerhouse pushed businesses, both large and small, to adopt blockchain technologies.

In addition to promoting the blockchain sector, keynote speakers at the event also highlighted various technological innovations that took place during 2017. Among the many showcases was the world’s smallest computer, designed by the IBM team themselves.

The machine, while limited in its functionality, is designed to help organizations incorporate blockchain platforms into their supply chain systems so as to make the verification of goods and other items more streamlined and hassle-free. The primary chip used by the tiny computer is allegedly “smaller than a grain of rock salt and costs less than 10 cents to make”.

The Current State of the Blockchain Industry

As the blockchain sector continues to gather momentum all across the globe, Marie Wieck — IBM’s general manager for blockchain services — detailed the massive impact that this technology could have on the global economic engine in the future.

During her speech at the conference, Wieck spoke about the widespread adoption of this technology and the true potential of decentralization. Additionally, while speaking with a respected Australian business journal earlier this week, Wieck pointed out that the blockchain economy has the potential to be worth a staggering $3.1 trillion by the end of 2030.

Talking about the current state of the industry, the IBM executive added:

My very simple analogy is that 2016 was all about blockchain tourism and sightseeing, and last year was pilots and proof of concepts. This year, those plans are all going into production.

Use Cases

In recent months, many novel use cases for blockchain services have come to light. For example, the United Arab Emirates has already initiated a plan to slowly weed out paper-based systems that consistently undermine inefficiency. The government aims to implement blockchain programs to help streamline work related to:

  • Verifying visa applications
  • Processing utility payments
  • Tracking and maintaining real estate records
  • Facilitating license renewals

Similarly, Sierra Leone, a country known for its history of corruption and red-tapism also successfully carried out a nationwide election with the help of blockchain software. The country’s executive body hired the services of Agora, a Swiss tech startup, to create a decentralized voting platform that would ensure a free and fair election.

What lies ahead for IBM?

With the global digital landscape changing rapidly in favor of crypto-oriented technologies, IBM has not remained far behind and has developed many blockchain solutions of its own. According to reports, IBM continues to reinvent itself by embracing the current revolution and has developed a host of cryptographic platforms to combat product fraud, enable food safety within supply chains, and provide data security to businesses.