Blockchain services continue to proliferate at International Business Machines Corp.
The Armonk, New York-based company in its latest move is wielding the record-keeping technology to help credit unions create an audit trail that can be used to create new business models. IBM Blockchain, under the direction of Marie Wieck, is partnering with CULedger, a credit union service organization, on the initiative.
Initial services on CULedger’s blockchain network will be available to credit unions worldwide beginning later this year.
Wieck, who has been with IBM (NYSE: IBM) for more than 30 years, said in a statement: “Credit unions will be able to cooperate and receive shared value from quickly exchanging sensitive data in a permissioned, individually controlled and transparent way. This decentralized approach using blockchain helps put the customer in control of their own identity. The work underway between CULedger and IBM will also lay the foundation for new kinds of services and collaboration among credit unions as we work together to scale and extend the network.”
John Ainsworth, CEO and president of CULedger, also praised the agreement in the prepared statement: “A cooperative model that helps improve the member experience while benefitting all credit unions is the ideal approach to ensuring the next wave of financial innovation for the credit union industry. We are creating a network through which all members can join and access new services and enabling credit unions to become even more competitive while addressing new market dynamics where members are demanding even more for their financial services provider.”
IBM has led several blockchain initiatives in the last year, including leading a group of companies — Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), Unilever (NYSE: UN) and Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) — to track global food supplies. Last week, the company launched an initiative led by a team of hackers specializing in breaking into blockchain networks using the same tools that criminals would use.