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IBM Leads Open Ledger Project To Create Blockchain Alternative

The potential of blockchain technology and growing interest among leading banks and tech companies to explore the technology is not something new. What’s new is that several tech giants and leading banks including IBM, Intel, Cisco, JP Morgan, London Stock Exchange Group, State Street have now come forward to create an ‘alternative to the blockchain’, an Open Ledger Project, overseen by Linux Foundation.

Wired reported that this open source project aims to develop a technology similar to blockchain that can bring new level of automation and transparency to a wide range of services, including stock exchanges and other financial markets.

“The current blockchain is a great design pattern,” Wired quoted 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.”

The companies involved in the Open Ledger Project include IBM, Accenture, ANZ Bank, CLS, Credits, Digital Asset Holdings, Fujitsu, Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, State Street, SWIFT, VMware and Wells Fargo. Wired reported that the creation of this group effort has been apparently led by IBM. The company had said earlier that it would open source the code for its bitcoin project, and this code will provide part of the foundation for the project.

“I don’t have a strong opinion on cryptocurrencies, but I have a strong opinion on the blockchain as a solution for contracts and supply chains and the internet of things”, Cuomo told Fortune. “I think Bitcoin is an interesting application for blockchain but there are thousands of applications and wider use cases beyond that.”

Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation told Bloomberg that blockchain demands a cross-industry, open source collaboration to advance the technology for all.

“Distributed ledger systems today are being built in a variety of industries but to realize the promise of this emerging technology, an open source and collaborative development strategy that supports multiple players in multiple industries is required,” he said in the statement.

However, this is not the first such group effort led by companies revolving around blockchain. The R3 blockchain consortium now includes 30 major banks that plans to design and deliver advanced distributed/shared ledger technologies to global financial markets.

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