The latest consortium to enter the blockchain race involves heavyweight tech giants including IBM, Intel and Cisco.
The initiative, referred to as the ‘Open Ledger Project’, is overseen by the not-for-profit Linux Foundation, according to a Wired report. The goal is to build a blockchain technology that can be adopted by a wide variety of clientele including stock exchanges and other businesses.
The project is a development library that would allow businesses to build their own custom distributed ledger solutions. These businesses would not have to rely on public blockchain infrastructures such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Financial heavyweights including London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and State Street are also participating.
As is becoming more common, several of the names are already involved in other blockchain initiatives. LSE joined the ‘Blockchain Settlement Group’ announced one month ago. State Street was one of the original banks to join the R3-led consortium; Wells Fargo joined soon after.
JP Morgan, until now, was one of the largest financial institutions not known to be officially involved in some sort of blockchain effort. Its CEO, Jamie Dimon, has weighed in on Bitcoin over the years, deeming its currency worthless but lauding the potential of its blockchain.
Whereas other blockchain initiatives are primarily composed of banks, exchanges and clearing houses, this is the first driven by technology companies.
Earlier this year, it was reported that IBM is working with blockchain technologies in a joint Internet of Things (IoT) project with Samsung. IBM has also been reportedly working on a blockchain-powered currency system, even seeking the cooperation of central banks.
In this project, the technology is not to be controlled by any single player, consistent with the theme of decentralization. The leading role of Linux Foundation, which oversees the open source Linux operating system, is therefore appropriate.
Digital Asset Holdings (DAH), the blockchain startup led by former JPMorgan executive Blythe Masters, will contribute to the project’s branding. It will supply the “Hyperledger” naming it gained access to following its acquisition of another startup earlier this year. It will also provide development resources.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)