Visa has just announced it has partnered with IBM ahead of the commercial release of its blockchain-powered global financial payments platform, B2B Connect.
Upon its expected launch in the first quarter of 2019, Visa will have integrated its core assets (including B2B Connect) with the proprietary IBM Blockchain Platform.
IBM built its Blockchain Platform using the open-source Hyperledger Fabric, a platform that recently joined forces with major blockchain Ethereum to enhance their enterprise-grade blockchain solutions in a collaborative manner.
(Edit: This piece has been updated to clarify the connection between Hyperledger Fabric and the IBM Blockchain Platform.)
B2B Connect tokenizes sensitive data, like customer information and account numbers. It then generates unique identifiers that businesses can use to facilitate global payments on the platform.
Visa believes that its distributed ledger (DLT) ecosystem can reduce opportunities for fraud when processing global remittances, and give those who adopt it increased odds of remaining compliant with new and incoming government regulations.
The credit card giant says B2B Connect is a “scalable, permissioned network,” but whether or not the supposedly new technology is truly scalable is yet to be proven.
Remember – most enterprises still can’t figure out how to scale their blockchain solutions.
It’s also worth noting Visa has long been touted as Bitcoin’s arch-nemesis. The comparisons in transaction speeds across the two networks have been made ad nauseam for years, and will probably go on for many to come.
But when I see news like this — that Visa is borrowing Ethereum tech to create an ecosystem of permissioned, private distributed ledgers, strengthening the practices of banks around the world — you know what I think?
Damn Visa, you cold.