International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has struck another deal in the blockchain industry, Forbes reports.
The US-based IT giant has entered into the collaboration with CULedger, a cluster of credit unions, to implement the company’s latest blockchain technology. The aim of the collaboration is to “help credit unions provide their members with greater efficiencies and enhanced user experience”.
A credit union is a financial organization which is created, owned, and operated by its members. They vary in size – from volunteer-only operations to huge organizations with tens of thousands of participants.
Currently present in 105 countries, credit unions attract more than 260 million people, with more than 100 million present in the US only. The entire industry is valued at $1.7 trillion.
CULedger, specifically, is a credit union focused on implementing innovative applications and solutions based on the distributed ledger or blockchain technology. Founded in 2017, the organization includes more than 70 credit unions.
“A cooperative model that helps improve the member experience while benefiting all credit unions is the ideal approach to ensuring the next wave of financial innovation for the credit union industry,” said John Ainsworth, the CEO and President of CULedger.
The partnership will also focus on using the latest blockchain and ledger technology to “create an immutable audit trail,” which can be further developed into a completely new business model for credit unions.
More specifically, CULedger hopes to make significant improvements across the entire business model – identification authentication, regulatory compliance around know-your-customer (KYC), lending and payments and transactions which require specialized authentication.
“Credit unions will be able to cooperate and receive shared value from quickly exchanging sensitive data in a permissioned, individually controlled and transparent way,” added Marie Wieck, General Manager of IBM’s Blockchain unit.
Since 2016, IBM has been very active in its efforts to expand its blockchain-based business. Forbes reports that IBM currently has a staff of around 1,600 working in blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) units across the company.
IBM, founded in 1911, is currently the seventh- largest private employer in the United States with more than 366,000 employees. The current market capitalization of IBM is more than $123 billion.