IBM’s Think Conference, the first ever such event held in Las Vegas, Nevada this past March 20-22 was memorable and displayed IBM’s vision for the future. The technology pioneer assertively pushed blockchain technologies for more companies and stressed its ability to change the way the world operates.
Many aspects of blockchain technology still are not understood by your average person. IBM took it upon themselves to teach companies what the tech can do for them. Whether it’s healthcare, financial services, government services or supply chains - blockchain tech has an answer for it all. In time the implementation of the technology will reconceptualize everyday business practices.
The majority of speakers at the event focused their discussions on blockchain, but one of the more interesting topics was in regards to what was called “crypto anchors”.
Andreas Kind who leads "Industry Platform and Blockchain" at IBM Research Zurich focused his discussion on how blockchain can help end the epidemic with counterfeit goods and medicines. Kind said that in 2015 it was estimated that $1.8 trillion in counterfeit items were sold. These items ranged from healthcare, eggs, and auto parts, which incidentally account for some 40% of the aftermarket in some countries. E-commerce makes it easy for fakes to be sold because so many item parts are produced in one country and sold in another. Blockchain is already combating this problem with food and trade documents but now the company is working on other items with what he called “crypto anchors” that are linked to cryptographic entries.
Crypto anchors work by a special chemistry and bioscience. The example Kind exhibited was a malaria test that used ink dots embedded on a micro pillar. A serum is applied to the testing strip where the first code is washed away and second invisible code is revealed. That code is tested and compared to a blockchain registry that verifies it as authentic. Kind says that in five years blockchain tech will help eradicated over 50% of the world's counterfeit goods.
IBM is serious about blockchain and this conference only demonstrates a small portion of what they’re working on around the globe. To give this some greater perspective, Marie Wieck who serves as IBM’s general manager of blockchain, said at the Think conference in an interview with the Australian Financial Review that blockchain technology would be a $3.1 trillion boon to the economy on a global scale by 2030.
Click here to learn more about the conference and watch the free videos from the talks by more than 24 IBM speakers. It’s well worth a visit.