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IBM unveils programme to kickstart blockchain adoption


IBM has introduced the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator to help organisations and enterprise developers address key challenges in adopting blockchain technology.

According to the technology giant, the accelerator provides organisations with guidance, support and technical expertise in blockchain adoption. It aims to assist early adopters of blockchain and enterprise developers take blockchain networks into production faster, through enabling organisations to gain access to exclusive technology and consulting expertise.

As an expansion of the blockchain ecosystem program, the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator is designed to address the key challenges organisations have identified through the development of leading blockchain networks.


The program provides one-on-one mentorship and support by network founders and technologists across a range of needs such as business case development, network membership incentives, technical development, governance and legal issues.

“Blockchain is a team sport. With the right network of participants collaborating on the blockchain, the benefits can be exponential,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, blockchain technology, IBM.

“IBM has worked on more blockchain projects than any other player in the industry and we understand the challenges organisations face and the resources needed to get blockchain networks right the first time. IBM is proactively building solutions and entire blockchain ecosystems across a broad range of industries and we are sharing our expertise and resources to help more organisations quickly set up their networks.”

In addition, members of the Founder Accelerator will receive early access to new pre-built software assets, delivered via IBM Cloud, to help reduce the time and technical expertise needed for developers to write complex blockchain code, says the company. These assets are based on IBM experience in building blockchain networks with more than 400 clients globally.

Along with IBM’s established blockchain cloud services, these new capabilities will help clients rapidly create highly secure, cloud-based blockchain ecosystems.

IBM says it will select eight new blockchain network founders for this fee-based accelerator across a range of industries such as banking, logistics, manufacturing and retail.

Program participants will gain access to design thinking workshops, one-on-one sessions, IBM Labs and more. Early users of IBM Blockchain will work directly with the participants and provide counsel including code review and business coaching.


Jan van Rooyen, strategic solutions lead at supply chain IT company Resolve, says Blockchain uptake in SA is being led by the fin-tech firms serving the rapidly growing interest from banks and capital markets as a way to streamline processes, saving time and money.

“The uptake of blockchain for non-financial use cases has been slower, but that is changing as its potential impact in environments, such as the supply chain, is better understood. It is the conviction of many that in the fullness of time, blockchain will make its biggest mark as a game changer for supply chains,” he explains.

Speaking of challenges faced by organisations in transforming digitally, Van Rooyen says: “One challenge faced by organisations is access to the digital world. Access is driven by availability and cost. Availability of industrial scale, very fast access to the Internet by everyone at all corners of the country, at a fraction of the cost of current services.”

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