Bitcoin's silver lining

[Bit]coin flipping: IBM believes blockchain could become the cradle of internet transactions

Gabriela Motroc
A hammock at the beach image via Shutterstock

Even though blockchain is widely known as an element of Bitcoin, more and more people believe that its true value has not been fully tapped. IBM executive Jerry Cuomo is the latest person to praise the benefits of this distributed database and to urge government agencies to “become early adopters of blockchain applications.”

The story of Bitcoin is still writing itself and there’s no way of knowing (yet) if this digital currency can change the way people view money. Despite the uncertainty and the latest saga around the identity of Bitcoin’s godfather, one element of this cryptocurrency is slowly changing finance: blockchain.

Newsweek cited Jerry Cuomo, vice president of blockchain technology at IBM, as saying that blockchain has grown out of Bitcoin and “can be generously applied to many industries.” IBM saw the potential of the blockchain and so did Cuomo.

Blockchain’s untapped value

The IBM executive told the President of the U.S. Commission on Enhancing National Cyber Security on May 16 that this technology may cause a “tectonic shift” in the way financial systems are secured, eWeek reported. IBM hopes to work with the U.S. government to make the financial systems of the future more secure and effective. Cuomo is convinced that blockchain’s qualities [security, trust] can be used — but in order to bring those qualities to life, “the core technology must be further developed using an open-source governance model to make it deployable on a grand scale,” he said in his testimony.

SEE ALSO: Five objects in which you’ll soon find Blockchain

Cuomo encouraged government agencies to become early adopters of blockchain applications, but also included the government in this conversation, stating that it has an essential role to play in authorizing the identities of participants in systems that are blockchain-based.

In his testimony, the IBM executive revealed that government and industry should work together on areas such as sharing intelligence, proof of identity, secure transaction processing and data provenance. He offered this technology a vote of confidence and stated that blockchain is “inherently more secure than other types of networks and financial management systems.” At the same time, it can be used by numerous parties to exchange cyber-threat intelligence.

However, Cuomo acknowledged that the challenges should not be forgotten. The success of the blockchain goes hand in hand with two qualities that should be enhanced —namely size and speed.

SEE ALSO: IBM bets big on blockchain, contributes 44,000 lines of code to Hyperledger

IBM’s contribution

Furthermore, Cuomo emphasized that IBM is playing an essential role in the creation of a permissioned blockchain. Tech giants (including IBM) are eager to have a piece of the blockchain pie —which explains the birth of the Hyperledger Project.

Three months ago, IBM made almost 44,000 lines of code available to the Hyperledger Project to help developers establish secure distributed ledgers which can be used to exchange most anything of value.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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