Contributed by: Show Editorial Team
IBM ranked #1 by Juniper Research and HFS Research
Kelley oversees global team of 1,600 employees dedicated to blockchain
IBM blockchain has over 500 client engagements to date
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Jason Kelley, General Manager Blockchain Services for IBM with Matt Bird
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back to the Traders Network Show broadcasting worldwide from Davos, Switzerland. I’m Matt Bird. We’re here for the 2020 World Economic Forum and my next guest is Jason Kelley, global head of blockchain for IBM, Jason, welcome to the show. Boy it is cold out, isn’t it?
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 00:15
Yeah, I’m trying to act like I’m not, but we’ll just keep smiling and talking.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:20
So, you know, I’m really glad we had a chance of bumping into each other yesterday, unexpected. And we talked a lot about a lot of stuff and you know, what, what IBM is doing like connectivity side. Some of the stuff you’re doing on the big data side, which is really exciting, but most importantly, I mean, we’re here on the streets of Davos and the talk on the streets that was just always blockchain.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 00:46
So we’ll take that it’s changing the world, changing the way people do business and interact as a whole and not just interact, but the thought of they’re interconnected. But since we’re here at Davos, we know they’re not just connected, but now they’re interdependent. We work together, we live together and it’s changing the way we think how that happens and how we actually execute on that. So these messages of sustainability aren’t just a cool things to say, but they’re ways to act. You know, how do we think about a circular economy? These things are no longer just buzz words, but things that are real. That’s what I’m enjoying.
You know, we talked about some of the challenges in today’s climate and the big data and the big business world. What are some of the things that you’re running into today to get over those hurdles, to get into adoption and in big adoption of some of the new data systems out today.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 01:37
So we think about data I think it’s really hits the heart of what we think is real and isn’t real. So trust. I mean, that it’s trust and transparency around that data. And so when we say these thoughts of sustainability, when you say show me and I could show you a lot of things, but would it be real? Would you trust it? Can we make this data something that we all can see with clear transparency and know that what we’re seeing is real? Or is it just fake news again? Is it something, you know, that we’re just going to click and believe, because we want to.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:09
This is going to sound cliché in a non-promotional, but they, I mean, that’s what the ledger delivers is a layer of trust because it’s immutable.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 02:14
Now you sound like you’re selling blockchain.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:18
I think so maybe I should get the business.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 02:22
But jokes aside, it really is that when you have the capability, you take this capability now where you can take something that had two things that was quite elusive. Both of them were quite elusive, which was, you know, how do I share data amongst multiple channels? So how do I make sure that this source is trusted? This source may not be, but when we pull it all together, ultimately I see a real picture. How do I do that? And then when I see it, is it the data that I want? Is it right? Is it correct? Those two things it’s thought of shared permission, trusted access. And then once you see it, it’s right and immutable, that’s what blockchain does. So for all these, you know, the bright, shiny thing, blockchain, that’s all it is. So if we can do that, starting with information and information, a little broader than data, but then when we can do that with carbon credits, and we know that those carbon credits are actually ones that have been spent or ones that I’m credited with, or when the food you eat, I’m sure you eat, you eat well, you wear it well. We want to trust that we want to trust the pharma that we’re using, all of these things. If we can make sure that those things are trusted now we’re headed in the right direction.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 03:09
So Hyperledger is a big keyword in the blockchain industry. Tell me all the applications that you guys are getting into right now. Cause you’re in from supply chain all the way to healthcare.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 03:57
To multiple areas. And so let’s start with Hyperledger. Hyperledger, and probably one other platform, Corda, are two very popular enterprise wide, sometimes called permission blockchain networks. Ethereum is also another wonderful platform, way back when it was years of blockchain tourism, people wanted to talk about platform Wars, put that aside and go where you just went with what’s the outcome, forget the technology. You know, we get, say blockchain and people listen, throw that out and say, what about outcomes? And the outcomes are when I have a trusted supply chain. I know that that coffee bean came from where it came from. It was sustainable and that when it comes out the other end and I’m drinking and it’s great. And after I drink it, Oh, did we grind it and put those grounds right back into the soil for the next coffee bean. That’s the circle. And can I tip that farmer? Not just the barista, but can I tip the farmer because that’s a wonderful cup of coffee.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 04:47
And what happened to that one bag of coffee, that didn’t make it from here to here that’s been missing.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 05:00
Or that one that slid in that was irresponsibly sourced and now looks legit, but we don’t know. That’s the transparency.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 05:11
What are some of the other things that are exciting you right now within the space? I mean, you got your finger on the pulse, so you’re the head of IBM and we’re talking one of the biggest communication firms.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 05:22
We like to call ourselves a 108-year-old startup. And so we keep changing and transforming what we do and it is exciting. And when I see this thought of collaboration across many players and what we sometimes call it now, collabetition because as we look at the wonderful IBM installation, right across the street or our other, what they call consulting or advisory groups, and we see ourselves as that convener of capability as a general contractor delivering on top of this promise of good tech, not just good tech alone, but good tech doing good things. So tech for good. And as a general contractor, I see this as need for collaboration , collabetition, happening more and more. And that’s what we’re driving here for the good.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 05:56
You know, I’d like to, for the audience watching. And I’d like to give a very basic example of blockchain and what it looks like is I think there’s a big misconception that blockchain is this magic pill that is taken, that just solves these problems. But in reality, it’s a database, right? It’s very much like we all know like Xcel and what you do with Xcel is really the formulas that are generated. You can put a pie chart on it and that’s the proprietary machine learning and the players that go on it from a very simplistic point of view. So no one ever sees blockchain. Blockchain runs behind the scenes it’s the engine under the hood.
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 06:41
And, as we go forward, hopefully we’ll talk about it even less. It will just be, is this a trusted source of data? Yes. Is it immutable? And you’ll say, yeah, you won’t ask how, but you’ll get it.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 06:53
Will blockchain replace SQL?
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 06:56
It should complement other technologies. And this is a key point as you bring that out, people think that it’s one or the other, but if we’re helping data and data drives anything that data drives augmented or you can go I like saying augmented intelligence because it actually augments our human intelligence, but AI analytics, automation, IOT, all of those things need data. And if we’re helping the data, then we’re helping that. So that’s what blockchain ultimately does. It acts as a catalyst to drive this, to transformation with these other technologies that then come together to deliver on a promise.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 07:37
I love it. So I know, I know you’re a busy man and we got some events to go attend and hopefully you and I get to hang out a little bit. I want you to put your wizard hat on, think forward in the future. What does the universe look like right now? Let’s say in 2021, what can we expect at IBM, the next year, two, or five years?
Jason Kelley – General Manager Blockchain Services, IBM: 07:55
You’re going to see IBM as we go forward, become even more of this cloud-based platform company. And when we say platform, an overused word, especially here this year, it’s just thought of, if we can just have that fertile landscape where others can plant the seeds and grow these new opportunities and doing it together, that’s what I see. And I see IBM being the general contractor for that.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show:
And you know what I hope to get more input from you as you hit those KPIs and milestones. Thank you. Jason Kelley global head of blockchain for IBM. You’re watching the Traders Network Show for Equities News.
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