In a rather bold statement, IBM Chief of the Blockchain Division, Jesse Lund has claimed that the US technology giant is the leader in blockchain technology. The statement was made during a recent interview, where Lund said,
“For the last three years, what IBM has been doing as the leader in Blockchain technology is making the system more secure and boost user confidence.”
The blockchain market has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years. The technology now covers several sectors and business verticals across the globe. What was launched as the underlying platform for cryptocurrencies, has now become one of the most trusted and desires technologies?
The industry saw many established corporations enter the space, including IBM, TCS, HSBC, JPMorgan, Intel, Microsoft, and even Facebook. However, IBM stands among all of these.
The company not only implemented the tech in its own business operations but also created solutions for various businesses. It even collaborated with governments of countries like Australia and Canada, to create blockchain based solutions for various public departments. More recently, the company announced that it would be developing a blockchain based project to eliminate the evil of counterfeit medicinal drugs from African nations.
IBM has also been collaborating with private companies and blockchain related start-ups to up its market share and creates innovative solutions. Just a couple of days ago, the company launched its blockchain based global payments platform, World-Wire, in collaboration with open source network Stellar. Just days since its launch, many established names have joined the network including Currency Matters and MatchMove.
All this indicates that IBM is going strength to strength, and is emerging as a blockchain powerhouse. But whether it has become the market leader or not is a debatable topic. Though it has expanded its presence in the industry, it mostly has been building on the foundations set by established players in the segment. Sure, the company has been investing big, but that’s more to building on available sources, rather than creating new ones.
Until one develops new sources, and that to on a larger scale, it cannot be considered as a leader. Currently, the only leaders of the blockchain space are the open source developers who have tirelessly contributed towards the development of numerous projects.
But what IBM has surely done is infusing the much-needed capital investment, required for research and development in the sector. Like any other technology-driven segment, the blockchain space, too, requires money to develop, expand and grow.
As more and more giant corporations enter the market, more research will be conducted in the sector. For instance, HSBC invested heavily in developing a blockchain platform focused on forex transactions, and the results were overwhelming. The banking behemoth was able to execute forex transactions worth over $250 billion alone in 2018. Similar efforts will make blockchain technology more adaptable throughout the world.
In fact, as per a recent report published by Cisco, blockchain is expected to houses as much as 10% of the Global GDP, as early as 2027. Industry stalwarts like Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, have also gone on to predict that block will be behind almost half of the global economy within the next 20 years.
If IBM has to become the global leader, it will first need to put the peddle on innovation, rather than simple collaborations and acquisitions. Developing open source network at a higher level is what’s required. Of course, the expansion strategy has been quite successful till now, but the blockchain space, like any technology, needs more than that.