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Linux group pushes out blockchain collaboration software

"It creates a common transaction record, something that's very much on the mind of the financial services industry," he said. "How do we move from a model where your database ledger, my database ledger and someone else's needs to be reconciled and synchronized, which is why we have settlement times of three days? How do we move to a model of immediate settlement [through a] commonly shared, distributed ledger?"

For example, IBM, AIG and Standard Chartered Bank recently unveiled a Hyperledger Fabric pilot project to streamline one of the most complex types of policies in the insurance industry -- a multinational policy.

The three companies created a master policy written in the UK that includes three local insurance policies in the US, Singapore and Kenya, and made it a "smart contract" that provides a shared view of policy data and documentation in real-time.

The solution is structured so that multiple parties in the network -- including brokers, regulators and auditors -- can collaborate more effectively and efficiently, according to IBM. The blockchain gives all of the parties a unified view of policy and payment data and documentation so that they can make informed business decisions based on a common set of trusted data.

"Our pilot proves blockchain has a powerful role to play in the future of insurance. Any technology -- including blockchain -- that can increase trust and transparency for an industry whose pillars are built on that, should be fully explored," Rob Schimek, CEO of AIG's Commercial division, said in a statement. "We're excited to be delivering innovation that matters to our clients and co-developing key components of this new technology together."

Other businesses have used blockchain in supply chains for its provenance-enabled tracking abilities, which can keep tabs on specific goods as they move from shippers to outlets.

For example, IBM and Maersk, the world's largest container shipping operator, recently announced they are piloting Hyperledger Fabric to help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end. The goal: to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners.

A new blockchain solution from IBM and Maersk can manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process.