Swisscom info and facts

Swisscom to be the first Swiss member of the leading blockchain consortium worldwide

Berne, 19 December 2016

From banking and the land registry right through to the music industry: blockchain has the potential to revolutionise countless systems. The global Hyperledger Project promotes rapid distribution of this technology with the development of a cross-industry standard. Over 100 companies support the Hyperledger Project, among them IBM, Intel and JP Morgan. Now, the global network is adding its first Switzerland-based member – Swisscom – which will enable the Swiss economy to benefit from cooperation and prototypes.

Swisscom forecasts that the blockchain technology – decentralised, digital transaction protocols – will play a key role in the digital economy. It could led to systems that have until recently been viewed as purely utopian. It can be used for banking applications, digital transactions, e-voting and contracts right through to the Internet of Things. Swisscom has been researching this technology and its applications since 2015. In collaboration with a major bank, Swisscom implemented a prototype for a loyalty programme based on blockchain technology. It is working with other partners on a platform for off-board trading as part of a KTI project with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and is currently reviewing a smart contract platform.

Swisscom will now be the first Swiss member of the Hyperledger Project, which is aimed at promoting the development of a cross-industry blockchain standard. “Hyperledger is setting out on the promising and proven path that has already been taken with Linux: standardisation, broad-based support, open exchange of information,” explains David Watrin, head of the blockchain developer team at Swisscom. Other companies such as Airbus, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Börse, IBM, Intel and JP Morgan are also on board.

Swisscom will support the consortium with the expertise of its digital banking think tank e-foresight as well as insights from in-house projects. The company can therefore benefit from the exchange along with the other partners, provide interested parties with access to Hyperledger expertise and help shape further development. “Just as the Internet transfers information, the blockchain transfers ownership structures. Switzerland can use blockchain technology to drive the digital economy and assume a pioneering role. We want to provide support as a catalyst with expertise, experience and implementation skills,” comments Johannes Höhener, head of the FinTech cluster at Swisscom.