IBM launches blockchain platform in Melbourne, Australia

IBM has successfully launched its blockchain platform in a data centre located in Melbourne, Australia, according to a ZDNet report published last Monday (Feb.11th).

The platform will allow customers to run their applications on the cloud, provided that they abide by data sovereignty requirements.

The IBM platform is built on the open source Hyperledger Fabric from the Linux Foundation.

“Availability and “redundancy” purposes

The head of blockchain for IBM in Australia and New Zealand, Rupert Colchester, said its blockchain platform will be made available in its Sydney data centre by the end of March for “availability” and “redundancy” reasons.

Also, with the establishment of physical infrastructure in the country, customer data will not cross the border and would provide security for regulated applications in government and financial services.

“Customers who are deploying blockchain applications have reached a maturity of projects that require the data to be stored in Australia,” Colchester said.

Colchester continued by saying that blockchain is “pretty much active” across all sectors. He said, “I do very few education sessions nowadays, but there is a lot of discussions whereby clients are trying to understand how best they can apply it to the business problems they have.”

Supply chain and food safety sectors

Colchester explained that the blockchain platform will be used to revolutionise the whole supply chain and food safety industry in Australia.

“Obviously Australia is unique, as is every country … in the case of Australia, the whole supply chain is a huge area of interest, discussion, and activity. How can one track food, right from its inception in a farm all the way through to retailers to prove the providence,” he told ZDNet.

Colchester believes that the launch of its platform in Australia is a large investment by IBM and the Australian market has great potential for Blockchain solutions.

“While Australia has not been particularly high on the innovation index globally… what it does reflect from a blockchain perspective – it’s a very interesting country because it’s small enough to make things doable, people know each other well, it’s a very strong ecosystem of relationships in the business world across the economy,” he explained.

“But large enough to… provide revenue opportunities for companies that are based here,” he added.

IBM partnerships

IBM law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, and CSIRO’s Data61 formed a partnership in August of last year to build a blockchain-based smart legal contract network in Australia.

Australia’s national blockchain will supposedly allow organisation to digitally manage the “lifecycle of a contract, from negotiation through to signing, and continuing over the term of the agreement”.

“It provides the potential for Australian companies to store contracts in the blockchain network running within Australia only – no data passing outside of this country,” Colchester said.

“It will be able to get going really quickly and provide the necessary security around it. Security that can’t be achieved with some other blockchain solutions across the cloud.”

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