The New Movement: Technology behind Bitcoin seen as emerging market


Best known for supporting bitcoin, blockchain technology is the new buzzword, creating opportunities for tech pioneers like IBM and Microsoft Corp as they make the transition to cloud services.

Born on the dark web as a support for bitcoin, blockchain is predicted to become “one of the largest users of capacity next year at about 60 data centers that International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) rents out to other companies around the globe,” according to a report from Bloomberg, which notes that IBM was one of the first big companies to see blockchain’s potential. The company is now encouraging startups to try the technology on its cloud for free.

The market for blockchain-related products and services will reach $7.7 billion in 2022, up from $242 million last year, according to researcher Markets & Markets.

Jerry Cuomo, the vice president of technology for IBM Blockchain, stated, “Our sales team loves blockchain because a customer that is buying blockchain rarely walks out of the store with just blockchain. They walk out with multiple things in their cart.”

Blockchain is inspiring IBM to change the way it compensates sales associates because the same blockchain can be used by multiple companies, such as all parties involved in a supply chain. “In the past, sales reps got paid when their clients bought IBM technologies directly. Now, they will also receive a commission when clients encourage other companies to join them on a blockchain network and use Big Blue’s systems and services,” according to Cuomo.

The great thing about blockchain is that it records transactions securely and makes it extremely difficult to reverse or change what’s been recorded.

“The blockchain can also hold many more documents and data than traditional database storage, allowing for more nuanced insights and analysis. It can also hold embedded contracts, such as a lease for a car, whose virtual key could be transferred to a bank in the event of a default,” according to the report.

Amit Zavery, the senior vice president of Oracle Cloud Platform, points out that blockchain lets companies rely more on their own databases for storage in addition to hiring third parties for cloud use.

“In traditional database systems, there is only one copy of the data for all parties to reference, but blockchain’s distributed nature means all of the peers now hold a copy of the data,” Avery said. “That will expand the data storage requirements on businesses, especially those in industries with typically high transaction rates.”

Six in 10 large corporations are now considering using blockchain, according to a Juniper Research survey of 400 executives, managers and tech staff. The technology, which is expected to bump up sales growth in cloud services, databases, and servers by 35 percent, is increasingly being tested or used by companies such as Walmart Stores Inc. and Visa Inc. to streamline supply chain, speed up payments and store records.

Susan Eustis, the chief executive officer of WinterGreen Research, predicts that in five years, “blockchain technology will push more than 55 percent of large companies with more than 1,000 employees to use the cloud instead of their own data centers, up from 17 percent today.”

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