IBM Corp. is continuing to roll out blockchain trading-platform solutions for companies in logistics and other sectors, announcing Thursday that it had launched a program to help enterprises adopt the secure data-sharing technology faster.
Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said its "Blockchain Founder Accelerator" will provide expertise and support across the technological, legal, and business considerations of establishing new blockchain networks.
Blockchain is a software technology that supports a secure, shared data network that allows each business partner to have end-to-end visibility based on its level of permission, IBM says. The approach is best known for being the foundation of the virtual financial currency called Bitcoin, but has spread quickly in recent months as companies in banking, logistics, manufacturing, and retail see benefits in its promise of protecting every digital record from being changed without the consensus of all parties involved.
Applied to logistics applications, that means that each participant in a global trade ecosystem can view the progress of its goods throughout the supply chain with confidence that it is viewing correct data, such as where a container is in transit, the status of its customs documents, or information on bills of lading.
In March, IBM said it had teamed up with Maersk Line in an initiative to use blockchain technology to speed the flow of data through the Danish shipping giant's global supply chain, and would soon open the network up to additional users.
The new Blockchain Founder Accelerator program delivers on that strategy by addressing the key challenges many early adopters and enterprise developers have identified through the development of leading blockchain networks, then sharing that collective knowledge with enterprise founders to drive the rapid adoption of production blockchains, the company says.
"Blockchain is a team sport. With the right network of participants collaborating on the blockchain, the benefits can be exponential," Marie Wieck, general manager for blockchain technology at IBM, said in a release. "IBM has worked on more blockchain projects than any other player in the industry, and we understand the challenges organizations face and the resources needed to get blockchain networks right the first time. IBM is proactively building solutions and entire blockchain ecosystems across a broad range of industries, and we are sharing our expertise and resources to help more organizations quickly set up their networks."