- IBM shuts down its blockchain division due to lack of earnings since 2019.
- VeChain’s community speculates on positive implications for the adoption of VeChainThor blockchain.
A report from CoinDesk shows that IBM has closed its blockchain division. Once a flagship division of the blockchain industry, IBM’s specialized division has missed its profit target for the second time since 2019. The report cites 4 sources with knowledge in the matter.
The computer industry giant was only able to achieve 10% of its 2020 profit target. As a result, IBM was reportedly forced to restructure the company. One of the sources quoted in the report stated:
There is not really going to be a blockchain team any longer. Most of the blockchain people at IBM have left.
Another of the sources said that the company set “very high” expectations for the blockchain division. As a result, there was poor expectation management in announcements and poor execution of projects. However, IBM’s PR director Holli Haswell denied these claims, saying:
Our blockchain business is doing well, thank you. We have realigned some leaders and business units to continue to drive growth – we do that every year. IBM maintains a strong team dedicated to blockchain across the company. We have shifted some resources but remain committed to the technology, blockchain ecosystem and services.
It is estimated that only 10% of the staff will remain in the blockchain division. In addition, the report estimates it is likely that IBM has abandoned consulting on this technology for other companies. Once the “world leader in blockchain for business,” IBM appears to have shifted its priorities, according to one source:
There have been tons of reorgs. Pretty much everyone is gone. IBM is now 100% focused on hybrid cloud, so everything that doesn’t support that is deprioritized.
Could VeChain take on IBM customers?
In the middle of last year, IBM’s name was still very much on everyone’s lips in the blockchain industry. VeChain CEO Sunny Lu named IBM among his project’s top competitors. Lu claimed that the use cases created by IBM Blockchain were competition for VeChain, but stressed that the VeChainThor blockchain had greater advantages and expressed confidence in his company’s growth:
(…) we have our advantages, our unique features, basically we have a standard tool and best practices making delivery super quick and at lower cost.
The VeChain community now speculates about the possible implications of the closure of IBM’s blockchain division. Some users have claimed that former IBM customers could migrate to VeChainThor blockchain-based solutions.
Unlike other companies that seem to tout miracle solutions based on blockchain technology for every problem, VeChain has use cases that are actually applied in the real world. Its solutions for managing covid-19 contagion risk, inventory management, and supply chain tracking have spawned partnerships with several well-known companies around the world.