IBM and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to Use Blockchain For Contract Management

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IBM has announced it has signed a contract with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) to examine the design, management and execution of contracts among business partners using Blockchain technologies. The two companies will begin by piloting Blockchain to automate business transactions between the two companies.

This is one of the first projects built on the Hyperledger Project fabric, an open-source Blockchain platform, to use Blockchain for real-life contract management on the IBM Cloud.

IBM and BTMU have built a prototype of smart contracts on a Blockchain to improve the efficiency and accountability of service level agreements in multi-party business interactions. The bank plans to begin using it to manage contracts within their business in fiscal year 2017. In addition, IBM and BTMU aim to manage agreements between the two companies with the system by the end of fiscal year 2017. To help improve efficiency, IBM and BTMU will monitor delivery and usage of equipment with a sensor that embeds information into the Blockchain. This will then automate invoicing and payment processes between the two companies.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to change not only the financial world, but also other areas of the business world, leading to improved efficiency of the end-to-end business process,“ said Mr. Motoi Mitsuishi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of BTMU Asia & Oceania and General Manager, Singapore Branch and Corporate Banking Division for Asia & Oceania. “Today, we are embarking on a journey with IBM to exploit the potential of this new technology. We are very pleased with the outcome of the first Blockchain proof of concept working with IBM Research and IBM Global Business Services and we look forward to seeing these Blockchain applications come to fruition.”

“IBM continues to invest billions of dollars into research on emerging technologies that hold transformative potential for our clients. Blockchain will reinvent complex multi-party and contract-based business models, especially in banking and financial services,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Industry Platforms. “This expands our expertise in helping clients identify the right projects and build out Blockchain solutions to solve day-to-day business problems more effectively. We are delighted to be expanding the scope of our partnership with BTMU with this Blockchain initiative.” 

IBM announced the launch of the first global research-led IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore in collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Located at the Watson Centre at the Marina Bay, the Centre aims to propel Singapore into a top destination for innovation in finance, trade, and commerce, and establish it as a global center of deep competence, expertise and industry leadership in enterprise Blockchain and cognitive technologies.

IBM is rapidly expanding its Blockchain consulting services and capabilities and actively working with clients to understand what it takes to make Blockchain ready for business. Through its open source contributions to the Hyperledger Fabric and its Blockchain services on IBM Bluemix, developers can easily and quickly develop applications while testing security, availability, and performance of a permissioned Blockchain network. IBM is advancing the science of Blockchain, helping to remove complexity, and making it more accessible and open. Financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare are some of the areas that are poised for dramatic change using Blockchain networks.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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