IBM stated Thursday (9th March 2018) that it has over 400 client projects on its blockchain platform.
Among its biggest clients are companies were like Walmart and Nestlé. It also disclosed a list of banks and trade companies using its blockchain.
Blockchain technology is often associated with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but enterprises are taking it on as a new tool for trade and payments.
IBM's foray into blockchain technology is catching on with customers, according to an investor briefing shared by the company on Thursday. At least 63 IBM customers are now running over 400 blockchain-based projects, according to the briefing. Among those customers: 25 companies in global trade, 14 companies in food tracking, and 14 companies in global payments. Some of IBM's most recognizable blockchain clients include Nestlé, Visa, Walmart, and HSBC.
While blockchains continue to be widely associated with startups and cryptomillionaires, IBM's client list shows that large enterprises are truly embracing the technology. IBM and Walmart actually launched a joint food safety blockchain project globally last year, which enables the grocery chain to figure out where specific produce originated in a matter of seconds.
But IBM's product, which is built on top of an open-source blockchain called HYPERLEDGER FABRIC, uses "permissioned networks." This means companies can have some of the information on their bespoke blockchain be publicly viewable, and some of it locked behind a password or other security mechanism.
A global trader like the Dow Chemical Company (an IBM blockchain user) may want to have an immutable receipt between itself and its trade partners in order to guarantee that no one is being scammed. But it doesn't necessarily want that information to be viewable by its competitors - or, say, the media.
In global shipping, IBM's clients include Maersk, Du Pont and Dow Chemical. Its food trust customers include Walmart, Nestlé, Kroger and Unilever. Its global payment customers include Visa, the Polynesian payments company KlickEx, EarthPort, Nab,, BBVA and CIBC. And in trade finance, IBM's customers include Societe General, WeTrade, HSBC, Unicredit, and Santander.
They're not the only ones rushing towards the blockchain, either. JD.com, the Amazon of China, is launching a project to put high end beef improts on a blockchain so that its customers can see where their meat has been.