Blockchain technology is no longer just for startups.
Now even the big businesses are getting on board.
In the latest example, Oracle announced Monday it will release a new platform next year that’s designed to help businesses use blockchain technology for supply chain management and smart contracts.
“Blockchain holds the promise to fundamentally transform how business is done, making business-to-business interactions more secure, transparent, and efficient,” said Amit Zavery, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud Platform, in a press release.
Oracle’s platform, which is currently in beta testing, is designed to provide “pre-assembled” tools for enterprises to use for anything that requires contracts, transactions, or tracking.
The platform is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source blockchain endorsed by other enterprise competitors including IBM, Cisco, SAP, and Intel. Oracle joined the Hyperledger Project, which is part of the Linux Foundation, as a supporting member in August.
Just like the technology behind bitcoin, Hyperledge Fabric is a digital ledger. It’s designed to be extremely difficult to tamper with, thus reducing the likelihood of fraud.
While many blockchains are public – which means the data on them can be seen by anyone with the technological know-how – Hyperledger is private. That’s so businesses can use it without revealing proprietary information.
Blockchains are often thought of in the context of bitcoin or other cyber currencies. But increasingly, companies outside of finance are using blockchain technology to replace long-held authentication practices in law, real estate, and shipping.
IBM, for example, is working with food distributors like Walmart to integrate blockchain technology into their supply chain processes to help reduce the spread of food-borne illnesses.
Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of the Hyperledger Project, said he believes there’s plenty of business to be had in helping other companies incorporate blockchains into their operations.
“Oracle’s support for Hyperledger Fabric is great to see,” Behlendorf said. “It’s one more validation of the market acceptance of what we believe can become a standard platform for enterprise distributed ledger applications.”