International Business Machines Inc. is well underway to introduce new open source blockchain software.

Having announced a blockchain-oriented experiment "Adept" earlier this year, the corporation is preparing to go further and test the blockchain capabilities when applied to so-called smart contracts.

Senior vice president of IBM Research Arvind Krishna believes that the blockchain technology used in bitcoin digital transactions can reach more broadly in order to facilitate other types of transactions, namely smart contracts. He called the technology "extremely interesting and intriguing". In his opinion, blockchain may enable banks and businesses to share the same record system, making it easier to make transactions instantly over the Internet.

What the IBM researchers are doing now is modifying the original bitcoin code to let contract details remain private while researching the best ways to adopt the technology by businesses. Automatic paying for a package upon delivery may become an example of such adoption.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Arvind Krishna explained that 3.2 billion people are expected to enter the middle class by 2030, which makes it necessary not only to extend banking but also to make it cheaper. The blockchain, according to Mr. Krishna, is where "intriguing possibilities" are.

Maria Rudina