IBM, i-banks embrace the blockchain

Though Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) remains well off its 4-digit late-2013 highs – Coinbase currently shows Bitcoin selling for less than $229 – major enterprises continue throwing their weight behind the blockchain – the secure public ledger technology that underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

IBM has been working on its own version of the blockchain, with plans to open-source the software when it’s finished. Big Blue suggests its solution could be used to secure digital contracts, and drive transactions by allowing banks and others to share the same system of record.

In March, Reuters reported IBM has held informal talks with central banks about a cash/payment system that uses the blockchain to drive transactions involving existing currencies, and doesn’t require a bank or payment processor (thus lowering transaction fees).

Meanwhile, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and UBS, RBS, and 5 other i-banks have announced plans to work with startup R3CEV to create standards for using the blockchain within the financial industry. RBS exec Kevin Hanley: “Right now, you’re seeing significant money and time being spent on exploration of these technologies in a fractured way that lacks the strategic, coordinated vision so critical to timely success. The R3 [blockchain] model is changing the game,”

Originally appeared at: