Computer giant IBM has been meeting with executives from central banks and large corporations this year to investigate possibilities of further utilizing cryptocurrency technology to save money and increase business revenues.
Over the past year, IBM is reported to have met with 20 central banks all exploring the potential of applying the new technology to their business model by issuing their own fiat cryptocurrency.
IBM head of blockchain development, Jesse Lund, was hired from Wells Fargo earlier this year as part of the company’s move towards integrating a cryptocurrency strategy. Lund sees increasing numbers demanding a “digital asset”, the most durable of which could be one, he suggests, “issued by a central bank that represents a claim on fiat deposits in the real world”. This asset, Lund insists, would need to maintain some “semblance of monetary policy”.
This reflects a growing trend driven by many financial institutions around the globe in utilizing blockchain technology, as companies examine how to improve services by either adapting current methods or adapting to new, faster, cost-efficient and secure ways of conducting business.
IBM hasn’t revealed the names of most of the banks that they are currently meeting, although they appear to be mainly from the G20 forum with members including China, Russia, the US and from the EU.
Until now IBM’s work with cryptocurrencies has been limited to the Stellar network and its Lumens cryptocurrency which has served to digitally connect fiat currencies allowing for a rapid exchange without either consumer or buyer touching the cryptocurrency. The company maintains that it is using this technology to explore a wide range of tokens. Those most in demand, Lund believes, are securities, utility and commodity tokens.
Going forward, the company has indicated that is looking to work with a number of blockchains and is currently looking at forming a partnership with the non-profit Sovrin Foundation.
Lund has stated that he expects to see further business opportunities between public and private blockchains develop.