IBM’s blockchain interest: has it peaked?

IBM Blockchain Announcements 2016-2017

In 2016 IBM’s blockchain interest showed its first signs of ‘public life’. Through 2106 the number of announcements (by press release) built, with the odd quiet month. In 2017 the tempo built, until June 2017 when it slowed dramatically, before falling away to nothing in November.

This could be natural. Worthy material to announce does not appear on some convenient schedule. Yet the drop from May to November is substantial. Has IBM’s interest peaked? Should customers take note?

2H 2017 Announcements

The following announcements occurred in the second half of 2017:

  • 16 Oct 2017: IBM Announces Major Blockchain Solution to Speed Global Payments
  • 11 Oct 2017: IBM Introduces Industry Platform Designed Specifically for Insurers
  • 04 Oct 2017: Bank of Montreal, CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group, IBM and UBS Collaborate to Advance an Open, Blockchain-based Trade Finance Platform
  • 20 Sep 2017: China Construction Bank (Asia) and IBM Developing Hong Kong’s First Bancassurance Powered by Blockchain
  • 12 Sep 2017: Secure Payments “On The Go” With Blockchain Technology From ZF, UBS and IBM
  • 22 Aug 2017: IBM Announces Major Blockchain Collaboration with Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart to Address Food Safety Worldwide
  • 09 Aug 2017: Sony and Sony Global Education Develop a New System to Manage Students’ Learning Data, Built on IBM Blockchain
  • 08 Aug 2017: KBank and IBM Develop Blockchain-Based Letter of Guarantee Service
  • 19 Jul 2017: London Stock Exchange Group collaborating with IBM to develop securities data blockchain solution for European SMEs
  • 17 Jul 2017: IBM Mainframe Ushers in New Era of Data Protection
  • 11 Jul 2017: ANZ, Westpac, Scentre and IBM complete successful blockchain trial for bank guarantees

1H 2017 Announcements

The following announcements occurred in the first half of 2017:

  • 26 Jun 2017: Seven Major European Banks Select IBM to Bring Blockchain-Based Trade Finance to Small and Medium Enterprises
  • 25 Jun 2017: AEON Financial Service Building a Financial Platform for Asian Market Based on IBM Blockchain
  • 21 Jun 2017: AOS and IBM developing logistics and transportation solution built on IBM Blockchain and Watson IoT
  • 15 Jun 2017: AIG, IBM, Standard Chartered Deliver First Multinational Insurance Policy Powered by Blockchain
  • 22 May 2017: Consensus 2017: From Capital Markets to Supply Chains, IBM Outlines How Blockchain Will Reimagine Business Networks
  • 19 May 2017: IBM Research Director Arvind Krishna to Outline Blockchain’s Impact Across Industries During
  • 18 May 2017: IBM Launches Accelerator Program to Kickstart Blockchain Adoption for Enterprises
  • 18 May 2017: IBM Study: C-Suite Executives Exploring Blockchain Aim to Disrupt, Not Defend
  • 17 May 2017: IBM Research Director Arvind Krishna to Outline How Blockchain is Transforming Industries at Wired Money 2017 on May 18
  • 17 May 2017: IBM and Chile’s Santiago Exchange to Deliver World’s First Securities Lending Blockchain Solution
  • 12 May 2017: IBM Blockchain Experts to speak at K(NO)W Identity Conference
  • 11 May 2017: Signzy Technologies Uses IBM Watson Cognitive Cloud Technology to Help Banks Streamline Customer Identification
  • 02 May 2017: TenneT unlocks distributed flexibility via IBM Blockchain
  • 25 Apr 2017: IBM and NUS Collaborate to Promote FinTech and Blockchain Training in Singapore
  • 24 Apr 2017: IBM Names Three Blockchain Adoption Principles Essential for Every CEO to Consider
  • 11 Apr 2017: IBM and Hejia Launch Blockchain-based Supply Chain Financial Services Platform for Pharmaceutical Procurement
  • 06 Apr 2017: IBM Named #1 in Thought Leadership Again
  • 04 Apr 2017: IBM Names Three Blockchain Adoption Principles Essential for Every CEO to Consider
  • 28 Mar 2017: Natixis, IBM and Trafigura introduce first-ever Blockchain solution for U.S. crude oil market
  • 20 Mar 2017: IBM and SecureKey Technologies to Deliver Blockchain-Based Digital Identity Network for Consumers
  • 20 Mar 2017: IBM Launches Industry’s Most Secure Enterprise-Ready Blockchain Services for Hyperledger Fabric v 1.0 on IBM Cloud
  • 20 Mar 2017: Energy-Blockchain Labs and IBM Create Carbon Credit Management Platform Using Hyperledger Fabric on the IBM Cloud
  • 15 Mar 2017: Singapore fintech startup leverages IBM Blockchain and Bluemix technologies to help SMEs raise their productivity and competitiveness
  • 05 Mar 2017: Maersk and IBM Unveil First Industry-Wide Cross-Border Supply Chain Solution on Blockchain
  • 22 Feb 2017: Northern Trust and IBM Pioneer Use of Blockchain Technology to Help Transform Private Equity Administration
  • 07 Feb 2017: IBM Launches Blockchain Initiative with Dubai Government Agencies and Enterprises on IBM Cloud
  • 11 Jan 2017: IBM Watson Health Announces Collaboration to Study the Use of Blockchain Technology for Secure Exchange of Healthcare Data
  • 10 Jan 2017: Postal Savings Bank of China Teams with IBM to Build Blockchain-Based Asset Custody System

2016 Announcements

The following announcements occurred in 2016:

  • 07 Dec 2016: IBM Debuts Blockchain Ecosystem To Help Accelerate Growth of Networks on Hyperledger Fabric
  • 30 Nov 2016: Mahindra and IBM to Develop Blockchain Solution for Supply Chain Finance
  • 15 Nov 2016: IBM Helps FinTechs Drive New Innovation in Payments, Lending, Blockchain and Know Your Customer
  • 14 Nov 2016: IBM Blockchain Helps FinTechs and Banks Address KYC Challenge
  • 09 Nov 2016: Kasikornbank Thailand and IBM Aim to Reduce Complexity in Corporate Credit with Blockchain
  • 24 Oct 2016: IBM Empowers Singapore Startup with Blockchain and Bluemix for Island-wide Federated Lockers Network
  • 21 Oct 2016: SBI SECURITIES Works with IBM to Test Blockchain Technology for Bond Trading Platform
  • 19 Oct 2016: IBM Cloud Expands Bluemix Ecosystem in China to Fuel Blockchain and IoT Innovation
  • 19 Oct 2016: Walmart, IBM and Tsinghua University Explore the Use of Blockchain to Help Bring Safer Food to Dinner Tables Across China
  • 28 Sep 2016: Blockchain Adoption Moving Rapidly in Banking and Financial Markets: Some 65 Percent of Surveyed Banks Expect to be in Production in Three Years
  • 27 Sep 2016: CLS to develop a payment netting service to provide further efficiencies and resilience to the foreign exchange market
  • 23 Sep 2016: IBM and China UnionPay E-payment Research Institute Share Bank Card Bonus Points Among Multiple Banks Using Blockchain
  • 16 Sep 2016: IBM and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to Use Blockchain For Contract Management between the Two Companies
  • 14 Jul 2016: IBM Launches Cloud Services for Blockchain on Industry’s Most Secure Server
  • 11 Jul 2016: IBM to Open Blockchain Innovation Center in Singapore to Accelerate Blockchain Adoption for Finance and Trade
  • 30 Jun 2016: IBM and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa Pioneer the Use of Blockchain to Manage Customer Identity and Improve Customer Satisfaction
  • 28 Jun 2016: IBM Opens Garage in SoHo, New York City for Cloud Developers; Targets Fintech, Blockchain and Other Fast Emerging Tech
  • 23 Jun 2016: Mizuho Financial Group and IBM to Test Blockchain Technology for Settlements Using Virtual Currency
  • 09 Jun 2016: IBM invests to accelerate development and commercialization of disruptive technologies in Asia
  • 29 Apr 2016: IBM Launches First Highly Secure Blockchain Services for Financial Services, Government and Healthcare on IBM Cloud
  • 16 Feb 2016: IBM and Japan’s Largest Stock Exchange to Test Blockchain For Trading Environments
  • 16 Feb 2016: IBM Delivers Blockchain-As-A-Service for Developers; Commits to Making Blockchain Ready for Business

What does this mean

As Bitcoin passes US$10K it would seem strange if IBM’s interest in blockchain was to diminish. Yet, prima facie, the lack of relevant announcements in the second half of 2017 would appear to indicate some form of change within IBM – despite all the efforts of IBM Fellow Dr. C. Mohan traipsing the world (he has been seen in China, India, Europe and N America this year) to talk about blockchains and databases.

The jury must be out. But, if IBM is to maintain its position as a leader in blockchain, it will need to rekindle belief.

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