Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin

By SHARE’d Intelligence Editor and Jennifer Foley

There are many misconceptions about blockchain: how it can benefit your organization, is it even possible to harness for the purposes of open finance and many more. SHARE’d Intelligence chatted with Jennifer Foley, Integration Architect – WW Client Center for Systems Innovation, Certified IT Specialist & Architect, Open Group Master Certified IT Specialist & Architect for IBM Mobile Enterprise to learn more.

What would you say to individuals who think blockchain is just bitcoin?

I stress that bitcoin is a digital currency and blockchain is a technology. Blockchain is the technology that allows individuals to buy or sell bitcoins. There are many implementations of blockchain just as there are many implementations of other technologies like relational databases or application servers. Each implementation is looking to address specific needs. For blockchain, we are seeing that some of these implementations are looking to address specific industry needs and regulations. For Hyperledger Project, their implementation of blockchain is modular to allow for organizations across all industries to be able to use the fabric and tailor it for their specific needs. This could include using a specific type of encryption, setting various levels of permissions or using a different type of consensus.

Do you think that blockchain and open finance are viable for businesses? Is it secure?

Blockchain is definitely viable for businesses. As with all other technology, it's only as secure as you make it. If you make the blockchain technology publically available and take no measures to secure it, then it becomes a risk and not suitable for business. If you use a private, permissioned blockchain than it can actually be very beneficial for business networks and resolve inefficient processes.

What business problems do current blockchain implementations deal with (loans, large transfers, property purchases), and what future business opportunities might be realized using this technology?

Blockchain implementations are currently being used to address financial disputes, the loan process and mortgage and property purchases. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The great thing about business driving the need and requirements for blockchain implementations is that their ideas are different and innovative. They see and hear things differently than those of us typically on the technology side.

For more information about blockchain, read the October issue of SHARE’s monthly e-newsletter SHARE’d Intelligence. This e-newsletter free to all SHARE members.

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