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Imagine a world where you could go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and be out in ten minutes. Better yet, imagine a world where you no longer need to go to the DMV for anything. You don’t need to spend 45 minutes on the phone with your insurance company to get one piece of paper to register your vehicle that can only be sent to you by pigeon carrier on the first Thursday of every month. You don’t need to wait 45 days to be sent a new title because you lost the paper copy of the original. It sounds like a beautiful world, right? Well, all of this and more is possible with blockchain.
Defined most simply as a shared ledger that records the history of transactions in a trusted, unchangeable and security-rich fashion, blockchain can be a game changer. Viewed simultaneously as an opportunity and as a threat, it has the potential to disrupt industries and fundamentally change the way people do business. Already, it’s being used in numerous industries to reimagine traditional business processes and interactions, poised to reduce time, cost and risk.
In a recent series of studies, IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed banking, financial markets, healthcare and government institutions about their plans for blockchain. On average, 15 percent of the institutions in each area expect to have this technology in production and at scale during 2017. are investing in distributed ledger solutions for taking deposits. If you aren’t looking into blockchain now, these trailblazing companies and innovative startups may leave you in the dust when they take your industry by storm.
It’s not a thing of the future and you don’t have to wait for it. IBM recognized the potential of this technology early on and began developing solutions that tackle real business problems through blockchain. IBM Global Financing has already applied distributed ledger solutions.
IBM Blockchain technology is available for you to use in your own applications today. Get started thinking about the use cases of this technology now and you will be more prepared to put it into production in your industry.
Still skeptical about the hype? Join me for my keynote session at IBM InterConnect on Tuesday, March 21. I’ll be speaking about blockchain in cross-industry use cases that leverage the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric. You’ll see how early adopters are using this technology now to change the way their business networks transact and exchange value.
Blockchain in 2017
In 2017, you may see major blockchain networks spark and start. Companies are expected to put projects built on those networks into production, and new use cases are scheduled to be developed.
In just the past two months, blockchain has been the subject of several exciting announcements. Postal Savings Bank of China teamed up with IBM to determine whether this technology could be used to build an asset custody system. IBM Watson Health is collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration to study whether blockchain can be used to effectively transfer health data. In Dubai, a distributed ledger is even being explored as a means to track the import and export of goods.
Blockchain has become so much more than just “the technology behind Bitcoin, ” and the next year will be a busy one as companies begin to unearth its possibilities. Check out my ebook on how you can get your business ready.
Blockchain at IBM InterConnect
So, why will blockchain be such a hot topic at IBM InterConnect this year? Because 2017 is shaping up to be the year that industries seize the potential of a distributed ledger and transform it into practical business solutions. It’s only natural that it will receive a lot of attention at the annual event that is expected to bring together more than 24, 000 technical professionals and business leaders from around the world to discuss the latest trends in technology.