Tech giant IBM has announced that its blockchain main net is now available out of the IBM data center in Melbourne, Australia.
The IBM blockchain platform, which was built on Hyperledger Fabric, will allow customers based in Melbourne to run their applications on the company’s cloud and abide by data sovereignty requirements. The platform will also be available via the data center in Sydney by the end of March. The establishment of physical infrastructure in Australia means customer data will not have to cross borders, and would provide the security required for highly regulated applications, particularly from government and financial services.
“By its very nature, it’s a distributed ledger technology so often ledgers are running in different locations and the demand for two is through clients and customers in this geography wanting to have high availability in the event of downtime and the like,” Rupert Colchester, head of blockchain and consulting practice leader for IBM in Australia and New Zealand, said in an inteview with ZDNet. “Customers who are deploying blockchain applications have reached a maturity of projects that requires the data to be stored in Australia.”
According to Colchester, the most common use case of blockchain technology in Australia is in the supply chain business.
“Obviously Australia is unique, as is every country … in the case of Australia, the whole supply chain is a huge area of interest, discussion, and activity,” he said. “How can one track food, right from its inception in a farm all the way though to retailers to prove the providence. That is just one simple supply chain that is particularly active, there are others around the trade of high value goods, or providing transparency down to shipment or logistics companies.
In addition to its Melbourne-based data center, the IBM blockchain platform is also available out of its data centers in London, Frankfurt, Toronto, Dallas, Tokyo, and Sao Paolo. IBM said that establishing the platform in Australia is a big investment, reflecting the potential the company sees.
“While Australia has not been particularly high on the innovation index globally … what it does reflect from a blockchain perspective — it’s a very interesting country because it’s small enough to make things doable, people know each other well, it’s a very strong ecosystem of relationships in the business world across the economy,” Colchester said. “But large enough to … provide revenue opportunities for companies that are based here.”
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