The blockchain sphere has become the field of competition. Namely, IBM is obviously one of the companies with an extremely high number of blockchain-related patents. The increase in the number of such patents is close to 300% a year. The good thing is that there is enough room for anyone who would like to come on board. Blockchain has many different applications. Nevertheless, the main focus so far has been on money transfers and supply chain management. And it seems that IBM has found its counterpart. Apparently, IBM and Alibaba are joining what seems to be, a blockchain race.
IBM and Its Blockchain Patents
The US-based giant, IBM, is the leading American company in the field of blockchain solutions. It has been assessed that IBM has some 108 active patent families. Just to make a comparison, the Bank of America has 52, for example, while Intel is way below with 35 active patent families.
IBM also leads the way in employing blockchain experts, which shows their dedication to further development in the blockchain field. Simultaneously, the famous Oracle took second place with half the number of blockchain-related job openings.
IBM and World Wire Platform
Probably the strongest aspect that puts IBM at the forefront of the blockchain world is their World Wire service. Basically, World Wire uses blockchain technology and the Stellar protocol to enable cross-border payments to complete in minutes. As a reminder, the financial institutions worldwide have been using SWIFT for years. However, the downside to SWIFT is that it takes up to three days to complete the transaction. With World Wire, the transfer completes within a few minutes. Therefore, the result is beyond compare.
How does World Wire work? Imagine two parties in a financial transaction. They agree to use a certain digital currency, which serves as an intermediary between the two entities. Now, what World Wire does is converting the first fiat currency to the digital currency. Simultaneously, the digital currency converts to another fiat currency. Details of the transaction itself get recorded on a blockchain. Those details remain unchanged, and transparent.
The advantages of this type of transfer include reduced time needed to complete the transaction, elimination of third parties, way lower costs of transfer meaning at the same time – one exchange fee for all currencies.
Alibaba and Its Blockchain Patents
With well developed blockchain system, IBM has one potential rival. Although dealing in a completely different industry, Chinese online giant, Alibaba, has involved deeply in blockchain solutions. Alibaba is the leading company in the world when it comes to the number of patents in blockchain technology. The records show that Alibaba alone files for over 90 blockchain patents a year.
The lead figure of Alibaba, Mr. Jack Ma, has reportedly clearly stated that the company was not interested in cryptos specifically, but rather only in exploring the blockchain solutions. This stand coincides with the official stand of the Chinese government to ban cryptocurrencies in China. Nevertheless, the Chinese companies are focusing on the technology itself.
Alibaba and Its Blockchain Solutions
According to the latest reports, Alibaba has explored blockchain implementation in supply chain management, as well as in intellectual property system. When it comes to cross-border supply chain management, blockchain is undoubtedly leading in efficiency. Specifically, having in mind the fact that such supply chain integrates not just the transportation, but trade finance and logistics as well. When dealing globally, the ability to access any type of information regarding the product and the shipment is crucial.
As for blockchain application in the sphere of intellectual property, almost two months ago, Alibaba reportedly announced they were in the process of upgrading the filing of intellectual property rights through utilization of blockchain. Supposedly, Alibaba is planning to wrap up the process of implementation by September. Afterwards, the blockchain should expand to digital copyright protection, including visual content.
In case IBM’s World Wire platform manages to find its way to financial institutions worldwide and officially become irreplaceable part of daily transactions, IBM just may take the throne in this blockchain race.
Do you think we will all be using blockchain regularly very soon?