Linux Foundation Gathers Partners to Help Advance Blockchain Tech
The Linux Foundation has announced a new collaborative effort to advance blockchain technology, which is central to how many businesses process transactions. The project will develop an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework and developers wil be invited to focus on building industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support business transactions.
The effort has a surprising amount of backers, given its youth. Early commitments have come from Accenture, ANZ Bank, Cisco, CLS, Credits, Deutsche Börse, Digital Asset Holdings, DTCC, Fujitsu Limited, IC3, IBM, Intel, J.P. Morgan, London Stock Exchange Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), R3, State Street, SWIFT, VMware and Wells Fargo.
Many of the founding members are already investing considerable research and development efforts exploring blockchain applications for industry. IBM has said it will contribute tens of thousands of lines of its existing codebase and its corresponding intellectual property to this open source community. Digital Asset is contributing the Hyperledger mark, which will be used as the project name, as well as enterprise grade code and developer resources. R3 is contributing a new financial transaction architectural framework designed to specifically meet the requirements of its global bank members and other financial institutions. These technical contributions, among others from a variety of companies, will be reviewed in detail in the weeks ahead by the formation and Technical Steering Committees.
Notably missing from the effort's partners are big players in digital financial transactions, such as PayPal.
Blockchain is a digital technology for recording and verifying transactions. The distributed ledger is a permanent, secure tool that makes it easier to create cost-efficient business networks without requiring a centralized point of control. With distributed ledgers, virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded. The application of this emerging technology is showing great promise in the enterprise. For example, it allows securities to be settled in minutes instead of days. It can be used to help companies manage the flow of goods and related payments or enable manufacturers to share production logs with OEMs and regulators to reduce product recalls.
“Distributed ledgers are poised to transform a wide range of industries from banking and shipping to the Internet of Things, among others,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “As with any early-stage, highly-complex technology that demonstrates the ability to change the way we live our lives and conduct business, blockchain demands a cross-industry, open source collaboration to advance the technology for all.”
Distributed ledger systems today are being built in a variety of industries but to realize the promise of this emerging technology, The Linux Foundation contends that an open source and collaborative development strategy that supports multiple players in multiple industries is required. This development can purportedly enable the adoption of blockchain technology at a pace and depth not achievable by any one company or industry. This type of shared or external Research & Development (R&D) has proven to deliver billions in economic value.
"The open ledger project is a key turning point in the industry establishing enterprise grade blockchain technology. It's key for the industry to enable an open developer community around blockchain and it's great that so many colleagues are joining and supporting the effort to move the entire Internet community forward," said Dave Ward, SVP and chief architect, Cisco Systems.
For more information about the project and how to participate in this work, please visit: https://blockchain.linuxfoundation.org/