Oracle’s blockchain platform is hitting the market on Monday.
The service provides software and server infrastructure for customers to set up and manage networks of distributed ledgers, the tech at the heart of cryptocurrencies. Companies can use these novel blockchain databases to help monitor supply chains, track global shipments, make cross-border payments, and more.
Oracle had been testing the new blockchain platform in pilot programs with early adopting customers in recent months. After seeing success in the trials, Oracle decided to bring the offering into full production.
“Anywhere there’s data transfer and information flow, blockchain has a potential application,” says Amit Zavery, executive vice president of Oracle’s cloud unit. “All that kind of stuff where we want to have trust and make sure things happen smoothly.”
One customer, Solar Site Design, a solar energy equipment supplier, has been using the blockchain service to keep tamper-proof records related to solar projects. Another customer, Arab Jordan Investment Bank, has been using it to simplify their electronic fund transfers. Yet another, Certified Origins, an olive oil producer, has been using it for food safety and supply chain tracking.
Stefan Rehm, founder and CEO of Intelipost, a Brazilian logistics firm that graduated from Oracle’s startup accelerator program in February, said he believes blockchain tech can lead to major efficiency gains in his industry. “We’re figuring out if we can bring everyone together on a common backbone that would solve a lot of issues of data integrity and data security,” he said.
Rehm said enterprise blockchain tech becomes more valuable as more partners get onboard. “The most difficult part for us is figuring out ROI, or return on investment, for every single party to make them invest into production systems,” he said.
Oracle’s blockchain service is based on Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain created by IBM and now maintained by the non-profit Linux Foundation. Oracle joined the Linux Foundation’s blockchain arm in August of last year.
Oracle’s blockchain service arrives months after rivals such as IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and others have debuted similar services. Each of these tech giants is banking on blockchain as a way to embed themselves deeply into the complicated, commercial webs that drive businesses in all manner of industries.