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US-based technology company has unveiled a new project allowing developers create their own applications of the blockchain technology.
IBM claimed it has been working on a new blockchain project, called Hyper Ledger, that will let financial companies leverage the technology behind bitcoin.
The company, together with JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and other fintech industry players, developed the open source software that allows tracking the exchange of stocks, bonds, houses, futures and other financial assets. It has provided the project with 44,000 lines of code, developed by 35 IBM researchers.
“Anyone who signs up can use it,” said Arvind Krishna, the Research Director of IBM. While you’ll have to pay to use the software on a large amount of IBM cloud machines, it can be used for free on few computers.
The company is also going to launch a set of instruments for developing and running blockchain apps on the IBM Cloud.
The distributed ledger has been getting a lot of attention lately. Some major financial institutions and banks are reportedly exploring the potential of the technology to apply it in the near future.
During this year’s World Economic Forum, MasterCard announced it started to investigate how to better use the blockchain system. Last year, the innovation company R3 formed a consortium that will work on applying the emerging technology on world financial markets. Such major banks as Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Citi, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank have already supported the initiative.
The distributed ledger could not only help to increase reliability and security of transactions, but could significantly minimize the risk of mistake and fraud.
In addition to financial industry, the blockchain technology could be successfully used in the logistics sector, Arstechnica reports. A spokesperson for IBM, Holli Haswell, told the publication that firms, which are, for example, delivering goods around the country, could “apply contract resolution and auditing to the blockchain if for instance a shipment of food is spoiled, allowing you to see the temperature of the cargo container throughout the shipping process.”
The shipments would be equipped with special sensors that could record such data, as temperature and location, which will then be sent to the blockchain. “It is a single source of truth that can be shared among all parties that could be applied to a lot of different industries,” he said.
According to Haswell, the high speed and transparency of the technology are among the key reasons of why businesses should consider integrating the blockchain.
“When all participants in an interaction have an up-to-date ledger that reflects the most recent transactions or changes, this allows organizations to cut out intermediaries and settle contracts or transactions much faster,” he said.