What is moving on little cat feet into the biggest corporate R&D departments? Blockchain technology. What began as a peer-to-peer method to exchange Bitcoin is now being quietly explored by players on the Forbes list of the largest public corporations—from Apple to Berkshire Hathaway to China’s commercial powerhouses.
Centralized Firms Seeing Potential of Decentralized Tech
Today, more than half of large corporations are currently developing blockchain in some form, expecting to integrate it into their regular operations by late 2018.
Corporate blockchain adoption makes the most sense for companies that:
- Transmit a lot of information;
- Require clear, easily verifiable transactions; and
- Aspire to go paperless while retaining reliably accessible data.
Corporate Blockchain Adoption
CoinDesk recently reported that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with its massive asset holdings of more than $4 trillion, applied to the Chinese IP examiners to patent the company’s blockchain-based digital certificates, which would end the need for verification through a trusted central authority. Watch for worldwide stock certificates to adopt blockchain, instead of storing the certificates in central safes, as more and more companies obtain blockchain-based patents. Alibaba holds 36 at the time of this writing, and Bank of America holds 45. Another of the world’s top companies using blockchain is the China Construction Bank Corporation, with assets of more than $3.6 trillion. The bank chose IBM’s platform to streamline transactions. IBM, which has been in business for more than a century, now has its IBM blockchain division and has obtained about three dozen patents in the space so far. IBM notes that blockchain boosts sales because on top of the technology’s potential there are applications to try, explore and integrate. Finance giant JPMorgan, with $2.7 trillion in assets, has become known for CEO Jamie Dimon’s high-profile put-downs of Bitcoin. Nevertheless, it’s developed its own blockchain platform, Quorum. Plus, Microsoft is counting on blockchain to enhance its efficiency and to distribute identification profiles to users around the world—enhancing their economic options and improving their quality of life.
Taking Secure Transactions to the Next Level
The clear aptitude of blockchain for enabling error-free and fraud-proof transactions alone is ample reason for big businesses to embrace it. No company, big or small, can afford to keep coping with breakdowns of its password-protected account systems that continue to prove vulnerable to the latest cracking or phishing expedition. Blockchain can replace centralized data systems that offer easy prey for hackers. Thus, blockchain identity verification will bring companies to the leading edge of security. As startups take the glory for advancing blockchain, big companies can’t stand the FOMO and they’re jumping in. We welcome them.