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IBM Strikes Deal with US Credit Unions to Use Hyperledger Blockchain

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CU Ledger, consisting of a consortium of US credit unions known for experimenting with multiple private blockchains, has recently added IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric solution to its blockchain list.

As Big Blue revealed on Monday, the consortium will employ IBM’s technology to create “an immutable audit trail that can be used to create new business models and transform existing business processes for credit unions”.

The new enhancements will focus on services like lending and payments, identity authentication, and compliance with know-your-customer (KYC) regulations, with the first blockchain services available to CULedger members “later in 2019”.

However, the consortium also revealed that they aim to continue their relationships with previous partners R3, Hedera and Evernym.

Julie Esser, CULedger’s chief experience officer, said in an interview:

“The use of a specific blockchain platform will be dependent on each particular application or use case that is being developed. Our partners, such as IBM, Evernym, and Sovrin, each play a role within our overall strategy and solutions.”

She added that this would not replace any prior relationships as the group was building a “network of networks” to facilitate P2P for digital entities.

She also revealed that CULedger is building an identity solution for the members leveraging the Hyperledger Indy platform. Evernym developed the code for the platform with contributions from the Sovrin Foundation. But, the new KYC-related product will instead employ Fabric, for which IBM contributed to the open-source Hyperledger project.

In May of 2018, the consortium revealed that it would use Hedera’s Hashgraph distributed ledger technology (DLT) to create a public system for cross-border payments. And in December of the same year, CULedger announced the collaboration with R3’s global network of companies to build on the open-source Corda platform. At this time, CULedger is not using Corda, but as Esser stated, “there is an opportunity in the future for the consortium to leverage R3’s tech.”


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