NewsMay 23, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

IBM Study: Blockchain Adoption on the Rise

A new IBM study found that one-third of C-level executives are using or considering adopting blockchain technology in their organizations. The study found that executives hope to enable new transaction applications that could help establish trust, accountability and transparency among their organizations and partners.

Eighty percent of the 3,000 executives surveyed indicated that they were using or considering the technology either to develop new business models or in response to a financial shift in the industry. Furthermore, 71 percent of business leaders who are actively using blockchain believe that industry consortia play a key role in advancing the technology, suggesting widespread support for industry standards.

Early Adopters Must Move Fast

Brigid McDermott, vice president for blockchain business development at IBM, emphasized the importance of participating in these early conversations about blockchain. “Consortia, regulators and innovators will help create new standards across industries and geographies,” she said in a statement. “Early adopters need to move fast to help shape how these platforms evolve.”

There has been a lot of this activity just in the financial technology sector lately. IBM directly encourages this kind of growth with such efforts as the open source HyperLedger Project. Even a fluid and developing market and technology sector needs some known landmarks to steer individual efforts. Otherwise, the lack of communication can cause a fatal level of process friction, especially in the financial technology industry.

Key Design Changes to the Blockchain Model

Design changes to the generalized blockchain model included sharing only parts of the entire blockchain with partners. That capability enables the parties involved in a transaction to validate it directly without unnecessarily introducing third parties. Lowering the validation to the deal level, rather than the system level, speeds things up.

It’s reassuring to see that researchers have produced very detailed and realistic blockchain use cases. They key now, as McDermott pointed out, is to move quickly and begin participating in important blockchain conversations to get a head start on this technology.

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Larry Loeb

Principal, PBC Enterprises

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He wrote for IBM's DeveloperWorks site for seven years and has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet protocol. His latest book has the commercially obligatory title of Hack Proofing XML. He's been online since uucp "bang" addressing (where the world existed relative to !decvax), serving as editor of the Macintosh Exchange on BIX and the VARBusiness Exchange.