IBM to open blockchain innovation centre in Singapore
IBM plans to establish the “first” IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore.
The firm says this is the first collaboration of its kind with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
IBM researchers will work with government, industries and academia to develop applications and solutions which are based on enterprise blockchain, cyber security, and cognitive computing technologies. The centre will also engage with SMEs to create new applications and “grow new markets” in finance and trade.
Robert Morris, vice-president, global labs, IBM Research, says: “Now with new cloud services that make these technologies more accessible, leaders from all industries are beginning to take note of the resulting profound and disruptive implications in a range of settings including finance, banking, IoT, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, technology, government, the legal system, and more.”
IBM says the first projects will focus on trade solutions using blockchain to “improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions”.
These projects, which IBM says could also involve global banks and emerging fintech firms, are “aligned with the vision” of MAS, Singapore’s central bank, to further develop Singapore as a “smart” financial centre.
IBM adds that over the next three years, the centre is “expected to deliver a number of technology pilots” across the finance and trade industries. These projects will build on IBM’s work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform. The Innovation Center will be staffed with people from Singapore as well as researchers from IBM Research Labs worldwide.
The keen scene
IBM’s recent interest in blockchain has not gone unnoticed.
IBM and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa completed their first blockchain project to “improve” the French bank’s ability to verify customer identity.
It opened a new Bluemix Garage in New York, to offer the city’s developers, entrepreneurs, and fintech firms the use of blockchain on the cloud.
It also launched a new framework for “securely” operating blockchain networks, as well as new services on the IBM Cloud that are designed to meet existing regulatory and security requirements.