IBM is working on a new blockchain project for smart contract creation.
The Wall Street Journal reports the company’s research arm is using the basic bitcoin codebase to create a new blockchain system that will eventually be released as open-source software.
IBM said that “dozens” of employees are involved in the initiative, and that the project is distinct from ADEPT, a proof-of-concept for the Internet of Things unveiled earlier this year.
The Journal spoke with IBM research senior vice president Arvind Krishna, who told the newspaper that the company’s blockchain system won’t have an internal currency and will be designed to “ensure that contract details remain private” while making it easier for companies to “embed business rules” into smart contracts.
One example given was that the software could automatically pay for a package upon delivery.
Krishna said in an interview that the project could result in broader financial access for the unbanked, telling the Journal:
“I want to extend banking to the 3.2 billion people who are going to come into the middle class over the next 15 years. So, I need a much lower cost of keeping a ledger. Blockchain offers some intriguing possibilities there.”
A representative for IBM was not immediately available for comment.