IBM is working on 400 blockchain projects as more big firms embrace the technology

IBM is working on 400 blockchain projects as more big firms embrace the technology
Photo Credit: Reuters
9 Mar, 2018

IT giant IBM has said that it has 63 blockchain clients and is working on 400 projects with them. It is yet another indication that major corporations are increasingly betting on the emerging technology.

According to a Business Insider report, an investor briefing document reveals that 25 of these companies are involved in global trade, while 14 each deal in food tracking and global payments. 

Big corporations such as Nestle, Visa, Walmart and HSBC are among these blockchain clients.

Blockchain is best-known for being the backbone of virtual currencies such as bitcoin. But a decentralised ledger of digital transactions and assets has applications in mainstream businesses as well, where it can provide an entire history of data, keep it secure and prevent fraud.

"For us, blockchain is a set of technologies that allow our clients to simplify complex, end-to-end processes in a way that couldn't have been done before," said IBM chief financial officer Jim Kavanaugh had said in an earnings call late last year.

An earlier Business Insider report had covered a US Congressional hearing in which Jerry Cuomo, IBM's president of blockchain technology, said that the US government should employ the digital ledger technology for services such as paying taxes, creating secure identities, tracking food and drug shipments, among other purposes.

The market for blockchain-related products and services will reach $7.7 billion in 2022, up from $242 million last year, according to researcher Markets & Markets. 

Walmart's vice president of food safety, Frank Yiannas, who also testified in front of the US Blockchain Caucus, said that his company had partnered with IBM to develop a blockchain that will track the movement of food from farmers to consumers including distributors and retail stores in between.

The company's South Asia and India chief technology officer, Prashant Pradhan, had also said that artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and Internet of Things will be deployed across larger projects, now that the pilot stage is over. 

Business Insider reported that IBM's clients include Maersk, Du Pont and Dow Chemical. Walmart, Kroger and Unilever are among its food trust customers. 

Global payment customers include Visa, the Polynesian payments company KlickEx, EarthPort, Nab,, BBVA and CIBC. And in trade finance, IBM counts Societe General, WeTrade, HSBC, Unicredit, and Santander among its clients.