In the past few years, we’ve seen how much the world has changed in terms of their stance toward cryptocurrencies. Back in the day, enterprises were reluctant to talk about cryptocurrencies. The mention of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum was taboo in public. In fact, even proposing the use of digital coins to streamline workflow was not a good financial proposition. However, there has been some talk about blockchain as a potential decentralized database that can help corporations improve their data management and information structure.
Things have changed in the past few years. For instance, executives from large corporations are willing to show their support for the cryptocurrency industry. It is evident that in 2017, more people were willing to talk about cryptocurrencies. However, it wasn’t until recently the entrepreneurs started developing solutions for early stage prototype surrounding blockchain. Now, the cryptocurrency world welcomes a corporate entity: IBM.
Recently, IBM has revealed that they are in discussions with executives from commodities trading platforms and large banks. The firm is interested in learning more about how they can incorporate the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain into their company. From here, their priority is on the aspect of cost-cutting and generating revenue from these innovative solutions. Admittedly, the IBM management has stated that there is an increased demand for digital asset issuance within the company.
IBM has also recently partnered with Stellar, which signals the fact that IBM is interested in expanding their business operations to include cryptocurrencies. IBM also acknowledges the potential in cryptocurrencies that it could create a new segment that can be the biggest sector in the market.
The green light from central banks
One of the best news that comes out of IBM is their cooperation with the central banks. In their meet up with the central bank, they have discussed the possibility of issuing their cryptocurrency which utilizes a blockchain. For IBM, it is important that their digital asset has to be issued by the central bank and has a monetary policy. Despite this, IBM has still not revealed which banks they met with. However, they did reveal that the banks are related to the people in the G20 international forum.
In their meet up, they were inspired by the vision of Sweden’s Central Bank. In fact, Sweden’s Riksbank has recently established a white paper, which detailed their interest in moving Sweden’s cash supply to a digital platform. However, they did not mention blockchain. In the future, we can expect to see more central banks dip their toes in cryptocurrencies, especially to issue digital denominations. As we are already engaging in a lot of online banking, the shift towards cryptocurrencies will be imminent in the near future. Of course, with banks, things will be a lot safer, but it will take a centralized manner.
More than just a cryptocurrency
IBM’s future creation with the blockchain is not just about having a central bank backing their cryptocurrency. In fact, they want to use the technology to help start-ups raise capital using the Stellar platform. At the moment, IBM is looking into three types of tokens. Firstly, security tokens that give the owners a stake in the issuing company. Secondly, utility tokens that give users access to service. Lastly, commodities tokens which represent precious metals.
Beyond the Stellar platform
Lumen, which is Stellar’s cryptocurrency, has been the focus of IBM’s work. The firm is currently testing this cryptocurrency in cross-border payment trials and is also running Stellar nodes that will help confirm transactions around the world. In the future, IBM is open to working with more blockchains. At the moment, one of the most serious works that IBM is engaging in is with the Sovrin Foundation that contributed the original codebase of Hyperledger Indy.
Despite this, IBM has been secretive about the details of the work, but the possibility of a partnership with a non-profit organization remains. On top of these positive improvements with IBM, there is also a rumor that they are doing permission on the blockchain.