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IBM adds to Blockchain partnerships

IBM's blockchain initiatives have been making the news as the company seeks to build a dominant presence with this new technology.

IBM is one of the world’s largest technology companies with operations in over 175 countries. It is betting heavily that investments in cloud computing and artificial intelligence will offset slowing growth in its mainframe and consulting segments.

IBM’s blockchain initiatives have been making the news recently as the company seeks to build a dominant presence with this new technology. Here are three examples:

Travel Industry

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is helping develop a piece of software  to help track and record the commissions that hotels pay to online Web sites and travel agencies that refer business to them.

The goal is to make the payment process more transparent and less resource-intensive. The platform is also be able to deal with commission discrepancies caused by such things as no shows and complimentary room nights.

Customs & shipment tracking

In another initiative, the government of Thailand is integrating an IBM blockchain platform IBM has developed with Maersk, the shipping company. The initiative called Tradelens, helps track shipments of goods leaving and arriving in Thailand. Thailand joins Singapore as the second member of ASEAN, the Southeast Asian trade bloc, to use Tradelens.

IBM_logo_The Bangkok Post reported Aug. 29 that Thai customs officials will be notified when container ships leave their ports of origin. They will track the progress of the ships and so be better prepared for their arrival in Thailand.

The platform is expected to increase transparency result in fewer inspections as well as help detect fraud and forgery. It will also help the government collect tax revenue more efficiently, the Post said.

Web Browser Patent

In 2018, IBM applied to the U.S. Patent Office for a blockchain-based web browser. The details were  recently made available in the patent office database.

The details were reported by CoinDesk, an online publication that covers crypto currency and and blockchain technology news. The browser collects such information as geographic location of the user, websites visited, bookmarks and time and day of use.  The patent application says such a system preserves privacy by putting control of the information in the hands of a user rather than a third party.”  One potential use includes a reliable backup of  information in the case of an attack on a computer’s web browser.

These are more examples of the way that Blockchain technology is energizing business processes.

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Adam Mayers writes about investing and personal finance. He is a contributor to the Globe & Mail’s Globe Advisor and a contributing editor to Gordon Pape's Internet Wealth Builder newsletter. Adam was Business Editor and investment columnist at The Toronto Star and is the author of six books.

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