In the corporate world, everybody loves blockchain technology, but most don’t talk about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Some have called the nascent digital assets under various names such as bubbles, Ponzi schemes, fraud, and many other crazy names.
However, it seems all that will change soon as tech giants, IBM has caught the crypto fever and is now encouraging commodities trading platforms, industries, and even central banks to take advantage of the power of cryptocurrencies.
The Big Blue Influence
Bitcoin and the altcoins took the entire world by storm in 2017. Quite a handful of firms has joined the crypto bandwagon since then, but many others are yet to see the good in virtual currencies. All that will be a thing of the past in no time as IBM is taking the gospel of cryptos to commodities trading platforms, blue-chip firms and central banks, enlightening them on the capabilities of blockchain-powered currencies and how they could save money and generate funds with virtual currencies.
Back in October 2017, IBM joined forces with KlickEx and Stellar, in a bid to create a blockchain-based system that could speed up cross-border payments. Senior Vice President of IBM Industry Platforms, Bridget van Kralingen, in October 2017 declared:
“With the guidanceof some of the world’s leading financial institutions, IBM is working to explore new ways to make payment networks more efficient and transparent so that banking can happen in real-time, even in the most remote parts of the world,”
Although 2018 started on a lackluster note for the entire digital currency ecosystem, with the price of bitcoin slumping to just above the $6000 area, the IBM crypto ambition has not failed to gain momentum. In January 2018, the big blockchain whale hired Jesse Lund, a financial services and blockchain veteran, from Wells Fargo. Lund, who’s now the Head of Blockchain Solutions at IBM has said that, “We’re seeing tons of demand for digital asset issuance across the board.”
Lund also hinted that IBM is not only interested in Stellar Lumens, but the big blue’s primary objective is to expand the business adoption and applications of cryptocurrencies in various ways. In his words:
“What’s happening is there’s this emergence of a new segment that could actually be one of the biggest segments that is a permissioned but public blockchain network typology.”
Central Banks Pondering on Cryptos
Lund further highlighted that he has been in talks with at least 20 central banks looking towards the direction of developing fiat-backed cryptocurrencies. Though he did not specifically mention the names of the banks he has met so far, but he, however, revealed that these apex banks were from the G20 nations.
“The most inspiring of the visions of the central banks I’ve talked to has been Sweden’s Riksbank,” Lund said.
In January, BTCManager informed you of Sweden’s plans towards the creation of the e-Krona, a digital version of their national currency. While the financial authority is specific the nation needs to create its official digital money; it is still not sure whether to build the e-Krona on the blockchain or use other technologies.
Something Big is Brewing
“I expect that we’ll see – sometime this year, a central bank at least putting its big toe in the water to issue a digital denomination of their fiat currency into the wild. Probably in a controlled format,” Lund concluded.
Take it or leave it, cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and it is only a matter of time before blockchain money goes mainstream just the same way corporations have been using the distributed ledger technology to store their highly sensitive information.