Yesterday, the Linux Foundation welcomed its latest collaborative initiative the Hyperledger project, an association of some of the world’s largest tech firms and financial institutions aimed at developing an enterprise grade, open source blockchain dedicated to support business transactions.
Twenty leading technology companies and financial institutions including ANZ Bank, Digital Asset Holdings, IBM, Intel, JP Morgan, London Stock Exchange Group, SWIFT and R3, have joined forces to launch a new open cross-industry ledger project aimed at providing a cost-efficient infrastructure to conduct business transactions, and manage the flow of goods and related payments.
The blockchain, an “early-stage, highly complex technology” that has the potential to change the way we live and conduct business, “demands a cross-industry, open source collaboration to advance the technology for all,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.
“Distributed ledgers are poised to transform a wide range of industries from banking and shipping to the Internet of Things, among others,” Zemlin said.
“Many firms are evaluating blockchain technology for the transactional, transparency, and settlement innovations it may hold,” said Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo Innovation Group. “The open ledger project enables institutions across industries to collectively explore how to create value, reduce cost, and improve accessibility to financial systems and services for customers.”
ANZ’s general manager of payments transformation Nigel Dobson, said that the new Hyperledger project is an opportunity for the bank to explore and contribute to real-world, bank-grade applications of the technology and wider frameworks. ANZ, one of Australia’s “big four banks,” is reportedly testing out payment technology from Ripple Labs.
“I see significant potential opportunities in the future to improve our customer experience and potentially deliver productivity gains by solving real business challenges, with initial use cases in payments and particularly correspondent banking,” Dobson said.
Some of the Hyperledger project founding members have already committed resources to the initiative: Digital Asset Holdings, led by former JP Morgan banker Blythe Masters, is contributing code, developer resources and the Hyperledger brand name; IBM said it will contribute “tens of thousands” of lines of codebase and its corresponding intellectual property to this open source community; and R3, a New York-based financial technology firm, is contributing its financial transaction architectural framework.
Backed by 30 of the world’s largest banks, R3 is a blockchain consortium that aims to develop blockchain technology for the financial industry.
Earlier this month, R3’s head of research Tim Swanson, unveiled that the company’s team in London has been developing an open-sourced, generic blockchain designed to specifically meet the requirements of its global bank members and other financial institutions. The blockchain is expected to start operating within a year, he said.