Blockchain is an emerging technology that has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way we think about financial transactions. It has the ability to record transactions via a shared ledger and can be applied across many industries and currencies. The first major application of blockchain was Bitcoin, an unregulated cryptocurrency that was very resource intensive to mine. But business applications for blockchain will likely differ in several key areas.
At The Boeing Center’s 9th annual Industry Conference in October, Ed Corno, Client Technology Leader at IBM, gave a presentation on blockchain from the IBM perspective. He claimed that the technology’s business applications will focus on identity over anonymity, selective endorsement over proof of work, and assets over cryptocurrency.
Corno defines the four key tenets of a shared, replicated, permissioned ledger (as characterized by blockchain’s business applications) are consensus, provenance, immutability, and finality. This shared ledger would serve as the one record of all transactions across the business network, and participants would be able to see only relevant transactions.
According to Corno, the requirements of blockchain for business are the aforementioned shared ledger, a smart contract embedded into the transaction database, the privacy to ensure that transactions are secure and verifiable, and trust between all participants.
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