SEVERAL MAJOR COMPANIES from across both the technology and financial industries—including IBM, Intel, and Cisco as well as the London Stock Exchange Group and big-name banks JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and State Street—have joined forces to create an alternative to the blockchain, the global online ledger that underpins the bitcoin digital currency.
Overseen by the not-for-profit Linux Foundation, 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. “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.”
The big play has always been in the blockchain not Bitcoin.
The promise of blockchain technology is that it can provide a more secure, more reliable, more transparent, and more automatic way of exchanging money, securities, and other assets. It lets you trade assets as easily as you trade emails today—and you can trade them without putting your trust in any one person or organization. This could eliminate many of the slower technologies and expensive middlemen that clog up today’s markets, says Marley Gray, who oversees blockchain work at Microsoft.