IBM’s contribution to a more transparent future: blockchain for supply chains, trade, logistics…

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IBM’s contribution to a more transparent future: blockchain for supply chains, trade, logistics and digital identity.

In the latest episode of #FinancialFox, technology and PR entrepreneur Stefania Barbaglio talked to Pietro Lanza, Blockchain Director at IBM and General Manager for IBM’s Intesa. IBM, already an established name in the IT space, was one of the first companies to push forward with new technologies’ adoption, working with Artificial Intelligence — in the development of their world-famous IBM Watson system.

Today, IBM takes the lead once more in its advancement of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, quantum computing and blockchain. It has recently set up significant partnerships and strategic collaborations with organisations like the Bank of America and Samsung.

Italy forging ahead with technology.

Intesa is a special division within the IBM group, working with digital innovation in Italy, where IBM is a leading technology solutions provider for enterprises and public bodies. IBM’s applications benefit a variety of sectors by offering innovative solutions to improve performance and streamline transactions.

The focus is on blockchain: IBM has around 50 initiatives in Italy along with over 1,000 projects globally, all deploying blockchain-based projects which are disrupting various sectors such as financial services, trade, supply chains such as fashion and food industry, digital identity and logistics.

“At IBM we are focused on enterprise use of blockchain. The most relevant industries for our projects at the moments are financial service, food traceability and ‘made in Italy’ food, furniture and fashion. On the other side we are also working with logistics and supply chain applications of blockchain. We are still at an initial phase, but more and more we are moving towards maturity of these platforms, technology and business paradigm.”

The giant is working with the Italian government to focus on implementing blockchain into the food and fashion sectors, supporting the world-famous ‘Made in Italy’ quality. IBM has indeed established a global platform for this cause — IBM Food trust — and has teamed up with leading global food suppliers including Walmart, Carrefour France, and Nestle. Other projects and conversations with big companies are on going. Through the platform,an ecosystem of producers, suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers is formed, to create a smarter, safer and more sustainable food system for all. Organic produce and homegrown origin-certified products are hallmarks of Italian culture: cheeses, olive oil , sauces, dairy products, pasta and pizza.

Recently, CHO, a Tunisian olive oil producer, announced it will use IBM blockchain to create a provenance record that traces Terra Delyssa from the retailer back to the tree. This follows the salmon farming company Cermaq and smoked salmon producer Labeyrie’s use of IBM’s cloud blockchain technology to trace their product supply chains.

Another prominent area of development is digital identity. IBM is working on creating the next level of digital identity by introducing IBM Blockchain-based sovereign identities, through which people can gain even tighter control over their identities and data, as well simplifying numerous transactions that require identification. Digital identity is a core business for IBM as it is the certification authority, and manage the Digital ID for over 50 million Italian & other European citizens. As part of a global, public permissioned blockchain ledger, IBM Verify Credentials makes it possible for known, trusted issuing organisations to issue credentials to individuals.

For financial services and trading, IBM has been working on the use of blockchain and digitalisation to streamline traditional paper-based trade finance practices.

Looking into the newest technologies, IBM has already taken steps into the 5G and quantum computing spaces. At the end of October, Samsung Electronics and IBM announced a new joint platform leveraging IBM Cloud and AI capabilities and Samsung’s mobile offering, and this year has already seen discussions about 5G arising.

As a pioneering tech company, IBM started working on quantum computing several decades ago and the technology is now in a relatively stable phase ready for testing and utilisation. @IBM Research has developed a publicly available Q problem which deploys quantum power through @IBM Cloud and can be tested by anyone. IBM also recently signed a multi-million agreement with Germany for joint development of this technology.

IBM has been ranked #1 for patents deposited for the 27th year in a row, such an achievement has been possible due to large investments and fundings to the company’s R&D, which is being made available to its teams throughout the19 research centres globally.

Watch the interview:

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