IBM has announced that it is working to make blockchain technology—which was refined and popularized by the digital currency bitcoin—easier for businesses to use for financial and non-financial purposes, including delivering food, according to arstechnica.com, a technology news website. The company is launching what it’s calling “blockchain-as-a-service,” or a set of tools for "creating, deploying, running, and monitoring blockchain applications on the IBM Cloud.”
If a business is trying to ship food across the county, the companies in contract with one another could “apply contract resolution and auditing to the blockchain if for instance a shipment of food is spoiled, allowing you to see the temperature of the cargo container throughout the shipping process,” said IBM spokesperson Holli Haswell. In such a scenario, shipments would be outfitted with RFID tags and sensors that could record temperature, location, and any number of other statistics that could be reported back to the distributed ledger.
"It is a single source of truth that can be shared among all parties that could be applied to a lot of different industries,” Haswell said of blockchain technology.
"When all participants in an interaction have an up-to-date ledger that reflects the most recent transactions or changes, this allows organizations to cut out intermediaries and settle contracts or transactions much faster," Haswell added. "Speed, visibility, and having an immutable record are the primary business reasons blockchain could make sense in some industry applications."
IBM also reported that it has contributed significant resources to developing standards for blockchain use with Hyper Ledger, an open-source Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Although the IBM spokesperson declined to comment on how much money IBM has put toward the effort, the company did note that it devoted 35 researchers and software engineers to writing 44,000 lines of code for the Hyper Ledger project.
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