The Linux Foundation has decided the time is right to apply its special brand of collaboration to the Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The Foundation is talking up the blockchain as a supply-chain enhancer and electronic-transaction-speeder-upper, thanks to its provision of a distributed ledger that has no central point of control and therefore allows secure peer-to-peer information exchange.
But before the blockchain can deliver that goodness to a waiting world, it would be useful if there were a standard version of the technology all participants could use. That's what this effort is all about, hence the Foundation's plan for the new gang of collaborators to initally “help identify and address important features and currently missing requirements for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers”.
Cisco, IBM, VMware, Fujitsu and Intel have signed up for the effort, along with plenty of financial services organisations. Big Blue's apparently tossing in “tens of thousands of lines of its existing codebase and its corresponding intellectual property” to set things in motion
The Foundation's not given itself any deadlines or indicated when its work might reach fruition, but is pointing out that efforts is has led generally turn out rather well and result in useful stuff happening. The organisation leaves out mention of its considerable gravitas: the mere fact that the Foundation has acted on the blockchain confers great legitimacy on the technology. ®