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Open Source Hyperledger Attracts Swiss Telecom Giant

The open source Hyperledger project, which aims to develop blockchain technologies, has welcomed the arrival of a state-owned Swiss telecom giant, as the latest company to join the project.

Swisscom AG, a company owned by the Swiss state, has announced it will be contributing to the project, which aims to develop an open source infrastructure for business and organizations to implement practical uses of distributed ledger technology.

Among the initiatives under research by Swisscom are an over-the-counter trading platform, in partnership with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, as well as a retail customer loyalty model that could see customer details tracked over blockchain-style ledgers, so the synergy between these efforts and the development of Hyperledger seems close.

Pioneered by the Linux foundation, the project aims to develop blockchain infrastructure, for use in a range of consumer and commercial applications in future. There are thought to be numerous particular uses for the telecom industry, and Swisscom could stand to benefit from any developments in the project that would solve a range of telecom functions.

David Watrin, head of Swisscom’s blockchain research, said that Hyperledger was driving forward essential research and development of the ledger.

““Hyperledger is setting out on the promising and proven path that has already been taken with Linux: standardization, broad-based support, open exchange of information.”

Switzerland has become a leading European centre of research and development for the industry, with a growing number of financial and financial technology startups setting up to specifically examine commercial uses for the technology. This includes moves from the Swiss rail operators to offer bitcoin train tickets from its ticket kiosks, in a preliminary move that could offer a glimpse into a future of decentralized currencies.

Further, other companies and organizations have been quick to embrace the distributed ledger in Switzerland, including professional services firms like Ernst & Young and Deloitte.

The support for the Hyperledger project from Swisscom is a significant victory for the project, and could help shape its development over the next 12 months and beyond. As the blockchain prepares to enter what’s set to be another hugely exciting growth year in 2017, widespread practical and commercial applications seem to be right around the corner.