Verizon Enterprise Solutions plans, later this year, to launch a portfolio of services based on blockchain technology. It’s getting the blockchain software from Guardtime, a company that was founded in 2007 in Estonia and is headquartered in Amsterdam. Guardtime’s technology supports the Estonian government. Estonia claims to be a world leader in blockchain (who knew?).
Verizon says the services, which will be offered through its Virtual Network Services (VNS) platform, will help its large enterprise and government customers maintain the integrity of critical infrastructure and protect physical and digital supply chains.
Guardtime Founder and CEO Mike Gault said the company began developing its Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) blockchain software about 10 years ago to help secure the government of Estonia from cyber attacks. Guardtime’s KSI now underpins numerous functions of the Estonian government, such as e-law, e-court, e-health, e-prescription, and e-banking.
“This is technology that is in production,” said Gault. “It was deployed in the Estonian government five years ago. KSI is a type of blockchain that is designed to solve problems related to scale. Telcos understand scale.”
KSI could be compared to other blockchain software, such as Ethereum and the various open source projects within the Hyperledger Project. But Gault said, “Ethereum and Hyperledger have many challenges for them to be deployed in production. KSI blockchain is already deployed in production in many customer sites around the world.”
In addition to its work with the Estonian government Guardtime also serves military and defense clients in other countries. In 2017 Lockheed Martin announced it was working with Guardtime.
Telcos and Blockchain
Verizon’s blockchain services for enterprise and government customers will be integrated into these customers’ existing business processes.
Telcos have been excellent at providing connectivity, but now they can also offer value-added services, said Gault. “Every business is a set of processes; they can guarantee the integrity of the processes,” he said. “I think it’s the most important opportunity for telecom operators in the last 20 years.”
Verizon’s announcement said, “Typically, blockchain technologies require customer data be copied into a blockchain, but with Verizon’s solution that data won’t leave the customer premises.”
Gault explained that customers don’t like to share their data. With KSI, every party executes their own part of the process; and everyone else can verify the process has been executed without seeing the underlying data.
With the help of blockchain services from Verizon, enterprises can solve problems related to audit compliance, security, and execution of applications in a supply chain.