In a recent interview, Lund stated:
What IBM’s been doing as the leader in blockchain technology for the last three years is adding security and confidence to the system.
Lund talks about IBM’s cross-border payments solution, which in part uses Stellar Lumens for settlement, and how one of the oldest technology companies in the world plans to revolutionize the remittance market. The solutions developed are challenging Ripple’s xRapid product for adoption, but all the products will have to work together to create a global and harmonious system.
We’re building on a new idea, which is to be able to store monetary value electronically and be able to move that value around the world in real time… I think the problem with cross-border payments today, the inefficiencies are based on the fact that the way that banks communicate, the network that banks communicate on is separate from the network or the rails that money actually moves on. And those things are distinct and they require a lot of coordination and reconciliation after the fact. That adds what we call friction. By having a digital store of value that can move with the payment data, we make the whole process a lot more seamless and a lot more point-to-point.
Lund also discussed what happens to SWIFT and other bank networks used to make international payments. He says:
SWIFT is a messaging platform. What we provide is messaging like SWIFT. We’re based on standards that SWIFT has ultimately developed. ISO standards that have come out of SWIFT are inherently part of the platform. We’re trying to help banks optimize the way that they service their customers.
IBM’s blockchain group does have its fingers in several industries to see what role the blockchain can play. Everything from supply chain tracking to money movement. Since the company sold off its hardware business some years ago, it has shifted focus to intellectual property.
The advent of the blockchain seems to have breathed new life into the company’s efforts to remain relevant.
Five years ago, few in the crypto space would have expected IBM to be calling itself the leader in blockchain technology. This is a questionable claim. To date, they have innovated very little. Instead, they stand on the shoulders of cryptography giants, the people who develop the blockchain products that IBM builds products upon.
The claim sounds a bit like Microsoft or Google calling themselves the leader in hardware development. While they may have some hardware products, the title of leader belongs to companies like Huawei or Samsung. While it’s debatable, the real “leaders of blockchain technology” are a disparate group of open source developers contributing to hundreds of projects.
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