CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Microsoft is part of IBM's blockchain network. Microsoft and IBM are competitors in this space.
- Oracle will release a blockchain platform for supply chain management and smart contracts, Business Insider reported last week.
- Oracle's platform is designed to serve as a pre-assembled device useful for contracts, transactions, or tracking, according to the company's press release. Built atop Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source blockchain endorsed by IBM, Cisco, SAP, and Intel, Oracle's system is currently in the beta stage.
- Hyperledger Fabric is close to impenetrable. Though some blockchains are viewable, Hyperledger is private and therefore resistant to proprietary information leaks.
Oracle is just the next big name to jump on the blockchain bandwagon, joining big companies including IBM and Walmart in the quest to streamline and secure operations through the virtually unhackable, self-verifying technology.
For Oracle to provide its own blockchain platform is a testament to the technology's presumed efficacy but it's also big news for the industry: Oracle is one of the biggest Saas/ERP software providers, frequently listed as No. 2 or 3 when it comes to market share — but always in the top 10. Moving to a blockchain platform will be a big shift for its customers, but hopefully a good one.
Blockchain is ideal for supplier-buyer and provider-customer relationships because it allows two companies to develop a secure, shared ledger of transactions that reduces paperwork, red tape and hidden fees. As a software provider competing with a company like Microsoft, which is also considered one of the top blockchain providers, it makes sense for Oracle to pick up the tech in order to cut costs, provide a better service and ramp up competition.