By Robert McMillan
International Business Machines Inc. is becoming the biggest backer of a technology that underpins the Bitcoin
digital currency. In the coming year, IBM will begin testing its own variation on the transactional software known as
blockchain, aiming to simplify life for customers who lease IBM’s computer hardware, the company said.
IBM, in a bid to establish a new standard for blockchain software, on Tuesday expects to contribute computer code
it developed to a free, open-source project called Hyperledger.
Additionally, the company plans to set up a network of what it calls “IBM Garages” in London, New York, Singapore
and Tokyo, where customers can experiment with its blockchain software.
IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty is expected to announce her company’s blockchain initiatives at a conference
on Tuesday. The company said that two of its customers, London Stock Exchange Group PLC and Japan Exchange Group Inc.
are now exploring ways of using the blockchain code in their businesses.
IBM’s effort is one of several experiments