Blockchain is the internet of its age

  • "Blockchain brings together shared ledgers with smart contracts to allow the secure transfer of any asset"

Sponsor foreword by Marie Wieck, General Manager, IBM Blockchain

IBM is delighted to be sponsoring 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe – a publication that highlights some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic firms in Europe, but also unearths the day-to-day challenges that these companies face.

At IBM, we are looking to emerging technologies, including blockchain, to build solutions to make it easier for SMEs to access the financing they need to trade and grow. Blockchain brings together shared ledgers with smart contracts to allow the secure transfer of any asset – whether a physical asset such as a shipping container, a financial asset such as a bond, or a digital asset such as music – across any business network. Blockchain is doing for trusted transactions what the internet did for information.

Working in partnership

Borsa Italiana, part of London Stock Exchange Group, has teamed up with IBM to build a blockchain solution digitising the issuance of securities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe. Designed to simplify the tracking and management of shareholding information, the new system is focused on creating a distributed, shared registry containing a record of all shareholder transactions, helping to open up new opportunities for trading and investing.

Instead of having to deal with the paper trading certificates commonly issued to private companies today, unlisted European SMEs can look forward to enjoying a more digitised, streamlined and transparent process – giving issuers, regulators, investors and others increased insight into company information. Plus, this blockchain solution is aimed at giving SMEs better access to credit and linking them into a broader and more mature ecosystem, so that they can set up new trading networks and obtain funding by sharing financial data in a security-rich and transparent public arena.

The system, built on the Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0 blockchain framework, is designed to help ensure that highly sensitive securities data can be shared among permitted network participants while remaining secure and gated. It was developed in collaboration with IBM and is now undergoing an initial test phase with a small group of partners and clients.