ibm microsoft Where is the competition? Oh, it got trampled or gobbled up and by whom? IBM and Microsoft, that’s who. Seems the two giants have gotten into blockchain projects and partnerships with decidedly directions which may very well leave banks with just two choices for their blockchain initiatives. Hello Justice Department?

(Bill Taylor/CEO)

"Two incumbent tech giants have positioned themselves in the middle of a frenzy of blockchain projects and partnerships designed to help financial services firms become quicker and more efficient at a plethora of things from trade finance to securities settlement to loans and debt tracking to cross-border payments.

IBM and Microsoft are taking decidedly different paths and banks will want to closely examine the technology stacks and the security and privacy decisions the two are making as they sort their own future with blockchain technology.

On Tuesday morning Microsoft announced it’s part of a new consortium called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. It includes 30 technology and financial services partners including JPMorgan Chase and Intel that plan to build a blockchain based on Ethereum.

Also on Tuesday morning, the IBM-led Linux Foundation Hyperledger Project announced 11 new members, bringing its total to 122. New members include Bank of England, Bitmark, China Merchants Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3), American Express and Daimler.

The good news is that banks won’t necessarily have to choose between the two — at least not for now. Plenty of companies, including Intel, JPMorgan Chase, ING, Thomson Reuters, BNY Mellon, Monax and Consensys, support both the Hyperledger Project and Ethereum-derived projects. Of course, other blockchain alliances exist, as do individual partnerships between banks and blockchain projects...."

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