IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsFoto/IBM Corporation)

American multinational technology giant International Business Machines (IBM) announced in press releases sent to CoinReport a partnership with Chile’s Santiago Stock Exchange, the country’s largest, to deliver the world’s first securities lending blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) solution, issuance of the largest blockchain study to date among C-Suite executives and launch of the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator program to assist enterprises adopt DLT.

Santiago-IBM Agreement

Santiago Stock Exchange

The IBM-Santiago partnership makes the exchange the first stock market in Latin America to apply DLT within its short selling system and the first in the world to incorporate IBM’s Securities Lending Blockchain solution.

The technology, built by both the American giant and the exchange, is designed to help reduce delay time, possible fraud and errors for each transaction while reducing costs and improving transaction management. Thanks to the solution, substantial time savings are expected in the exchange’s back office processes.

Based on the open source Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, the solution is expected to be widely available to support multiple parties across the financial industry ecosystem the present year.

IBM Chile general manager Francisco Thiermann said, “The solution is repeatable, so once we have it deployed in Chile, the Santiago Stock Exchange could take advantage of this leadership to introduce it to its partners in MILA – the transnational integration of the stock exchanges of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. This is a significant opportunity to open up the Latin American markets.”

Santiago Stock Exchange CIO Andrés Araya commented on the occasion, “The Stock Exchange is a highly technological company, which provides the infrastructure and systems for all types of securities market transactions, their clearing and settlement, providing information services and management systems for intermediaries. Incorporating Blockchain into our business processes is in line with that purpose and positions us as a forerunner in the financial market.”

IBM Study

The study titled “Forward Together: Three Ways Blockchain Explorers Chart a New Direction” was part of a series of C-Suite studies and sought perspectives of C-Suite executives across industries on DLT. One third (33 percent) of nearly 3000 executives surveyed said they were already actively using or considering the technology in their businesses. Eight in ten (78 percent) of those exploring blockchain said they were investing either in response to financial shifts in their industries or for the chance to build completely new business models.

Conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, the global study also compared the firms that were actively experimenting with, piloting or implementing DLT – the Explorers – with those not currently considering the technology.

As new and non-conventional competitors with their unique business models could topple established enterprises, some CxOs surveyed are relying on DLT to cultivate a new generation of transactional applications that are designed to create transparency, accountability and trust among an ecosystem of associates, in order to get a competitive edge.

Brigid McDermott, IBM vice president for Blockchain Business Development, said in the release we received, “With blockchain, everyone is looking at the same thing at the same time. These new trusted transactions will spawn new business models, processes, and platforms where all ecosystem participants can be connected to create new value.”

“Consortia, regulators and innovators will help create new standards across industries and geographies – harnessing the strengths of others by establishing trust between organizations. Early adopters need to move fast to help shape how these platforms evolve.”

However, building new platform business models is not possible for everybody. Six in ten surveyed Explorer CIOs acknowledged they weren’t fully equipped to create DLT platforms that connect partners and customers across an ecosystem.

Some other key findings from the study include:

  • Two thirds, or 66 percent, of Explorers are trying out a completely different business model — the platform model, which connects organizations, resources and people in an interactive ecosystem to produce totally new forms of value — five times more than those not considering blockchain
  • 100 percent of Explorers think DLT will support their enterprise strategy in some way; 63 percent aim to use it to increase transactional transparency
  • Of the Explorers whose business models are under threat, over half anticipate to launch a completely new business model either within their own industry or in that of someone else’s
  • 71 percent of those actively using DLT believe industry consortia are significant to advance DLT efforts
  • 78 percent of those actively utilizing DLT believe customers are important to advance blockchain efforts

The full IBM study can be read and/or downloaded from here

IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator Program

Offering support and expertise across business, technology and legal considerations of establishing new DLT networks, the program helps organizations and enterprise developers move DLT networks into production faster. It is designed to address crucial challenges early adopters and enterprise developers identified through the development of top blockchain networks. Organizations joining the program will get one-on-one support and mentorship by network founders and technologists across a range of requirements like governance and legal issues, business case development, technical development and network membership incentives. Moreover, access to new prebuilt software assets, which are based on IBM’s experience in building DLT networks with more than 400 clients globally, will also be provided, via IBM Cloud, to the joining organizations to help them reduce the technical expertise and time required for developers to write complex DLT code. Along with the established DLT cloud services of IBM, these new capabilities will assist organizations to rapidly build highly secure, cloud-based DLT ecosystems.

Marie Wieck, general manager, blockchain technology, IBM, commented, “Blockchain is a team sport. With the right network of participants collaborating on the blockchain, the benefits can be exponential. IBM has worked on more blockchain projects than any other player in the industry and we understand the challenges organizations face and the resources needed to get blockchain networks right the first time. IBM is proactively building solutions and entire blockchain ecosystems across a broad range of industries and we are sharing our expertise and resources to help more organizations quickly set up their networks.”

IBM will select eight new DLT network founders for this fee-based program across a range of industries such as retail, banking, manufacturing and logistics. Program-joining organizations will get their networks up and running and support an ecosystem of partners and users by the year’s end. Scholarships are also available.

Organizations participating in the program will gain access to:

  • Design Thinking Workshops – Based on the ideologies and methodologies of IBM’s global network of Bluemix Garages, network founders will get access to agile design “bootcamps” to assist them in rapidly creating, iterating and launching the networks, leveraging the best practices and founder experience acquired from more than a dozen DLT networks in production.
  • Founder Mentorship One-on-Ones – Business and technical counselors from the IBM Bluemix Garage delivering blockchain projects, IBM Labs contributing to and helping maintain Hyperledger Fabric and IBM Research team creating DLT assets and solutions, in addition to major contributors to Hyperledger Fabric and early users of IBM Blockchain will work directly with the participating organizations and offer counsel including business coaching and code review.
  • IBM Cloud Services – Founders will have access to IBM technology resources including IBM Blockchain solutions via IBM cloud platform IBM Bluemix, which hosts IBM’s enterprise-ready blockchain service that supports the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. IBM will also provide up to $120,000 worth of IBM Cloud credits to participating organizations to help them fully leverage the ecosystem, in addition to access to IBM Bluemix Garage sessions for development.
  • Co-Marketing Potential – Through joint marketing opportunities, participating firms will work with IBM and the giant’s blockchain ecosystem to position themselves as technology leaders.

Image credits:

IBM logo – (PRNewsFoto/IBM Corporation)

Santiago Stock Exchange building photo – .:GIO::IAB:.  (Source: Flickr: Bolsa de Stgo.)  (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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