Several major companies from across both the technology and financial industries—including IBM, Intel, and Cisco as well as the London Stock Exchange Group and big-name banks JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and State Street—have joined forces to create an alternative to the blockchain, the global online ledger that underpins the bitcoin digital currency.
Overseen by the not-for-profit Linux Foundation, this open source project aims to build blockchain-like technology that can bring a new level of automation and transparency to a wide range of services in the business world, including stock exchanges and other financial markets.
These companies are creating a new distributed ledger—rather than embracing the blockchain itself.
“The current blockchain is a great design pattern,” says Jerry Cuomo, vice president and chief technology officer of IBM’s software group. “Now, how do we make that real for business? What are the key attributes needed to make that happen? That’s what this organization is about.”
Dubbed the Open Ledger Project, this effort is a re-imagining of several big ideas. The blockchain is essentially a database that runs across a worldwide network of independent machines—a database that’s controlled by no single entity but can still reliably track