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IBM highlights European blockchain projects


For anyone with an interest in enterprise blockchain, it’s hard not to notice IBM’s presence. The company says it’s involved in more than 500 projects globally. Today IBM revealed details about some of its European projects.

Telefónica and telecoms billing

The major telecoms company is working with IBM on a proof of concept for international mobile call billing. When users make an international call, the routing of the call results in charges between phone companies in different regions. The blockchain project helps in traceability of that information between the providers. By sharing the data, it helps to prevent fraudulent behavior and reduce discrepancies.

Telefónica is also a part of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group a consortium which includes many of the major telecoms companies. However, consortia tend to prioritize projects as a group. Hence quite often individual companies accelerate plans that are important to them on their own.

Finnish food traceability

In Finland retail cooperative S-Group has a food traceability solution to track the origins of fish for consumers. The program is currently in the testing phase and is called the “Pike-perch radar”.

What isn’t mentioned in IBM’s statement is whether this project is part of IBM’s Food Trust. The latter is a significant initiative with big names such as Nestle, Unilever, Walmart, and Carrefour.

Polish bank document verification

Ledger Insights has previously written about PKO Bank Polski. When they send product notifications to clients, especially relating to new EU regulations, they want their 5 million customers to be able to verify the documents. Every document has a hash or fingerprint, and the customer can go online to verify that the hash matches.

We knew about the project and the involvement of the National Clearing House (KIR) and Polish-British startup Coinfirm. But until today we were not aware that IBM and Accenture were involved.

Managing corporate AGMs

The Central Securities Depository of Poland (KDPW) is working with IBM on an e-voting system for Annual General Meetings (AGMs). This will enable transparency of voting and the ability for regulators to monitor the process.

Numerous projects around the world address AGM voting and proxy voting in particular. Santander has used a pilot system at its last two AGMs. Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange in Estonia has conducted pilots. Canada’s TMX created a prototype, and Russia’s National Settlements Depository was probably the first to pilot this use case.

Charity tracking

Spanish startup software company has IBM’s support in a solution to trace both donations and spend for NGOs. This enables transparency so NGO donors can see where their money goes.

The statement gives an example: “When charity workers in India purchase hygiene products for the street children they support, the payment is tracked on a mobile phone, and written to the blockchain, allowing approved network participants to see the transactions, and triggering the NGO responsible to verify that the children did actually receive the products.”

Another similar project unrelated to IBM comes from Deutsche Bahn that developed a system to help trace relief projects.

KYC in Azerbaijan

With the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan, IBM is developing a digital identity system. The project aims to automate the “Know Your Customer” process. The platform will be used by banks and credit agencies to verify the reliability of documents relating to individuals and companies.

IBM’s Blockchain uses Hyperledger Fabric technology.

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