Enterprise blockchain bytes: R3 and IBM collaboration and Calastone acquisition

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Blockchain technologies for the enterprise continue to see various updates. IBM and R3 have announced a collaboration to bring the latter’s enterprise blockchain platform to IBM, while the acquisition by The Carlyle Group of a majority stake in Calastone has put a focus on its distributed market infrastructure (DMI).

R3 has announced a new open beta program to bring Corda Enterprise to IBM LinuxONE, delivered via IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services, with general availability expected in the first quarter of 2021. IBM is also establishing an R3 centre of excellence, looking to provide services to IBM clients that have – or plan to adopt – R3 solutions.

“Enterprises, especially those in regulated industries, are increasingly looking to build blockchain solutions with advanced security and data privacy features while addressing performance,” the two companies wrote. “For clients with highly sensitive data and workloads such as digital identity, digital assets, central bank digital currencies, tokens, payments information, or smart contracts being spread across hybrid cloud environments, IBM LinuxONE provides a highly secured platform certified to meet the highest level of security certification commercially available.”

The partnership makes for interesting strategic reading. Hyperledger, hosted by the Linux Foundation, has predominantly been IBM’s primary offering; indeed, IBM Blockchain Platform is its commercial deployment of the open source Hyperledger Fabric. To date, R3’s Corda has been seen as a competitor in the enterprise blockchain space.

IBM said the move would ‘complement’ its excisting blockchain services and offerings ‘to bring even more choice to the market.’

“Blockchain is fast emerging as the technology of choice to drive digital transformation and R3 and IBM will provide access to the privacy and security inherent in blockchain technology underpinned by IBM LinuxONE,” said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3. “This combined with the deeply knowledgeable team within IBM Services’ new R3 centre of excellence, can empower customers to level up their digital transformation drive.”

Elsewhere, The Carlyle Group has agreed to buy a majority stake in Calastone. The global funds network introduced its distributed market infrastructure (DMI) last May to enable full automation and digitalisation of the fund transaction process through distributed ledger technology.

Julien Hammerson, chief executive officer of Calastone, said there was ‘huge potential for growth based on the technology platform and unique service offering created.’

Photo by Esther Jiao on Unsplash

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