According to delawareonline.com, IBM received a $738,000 contract from the Delaware State Government to develop a blockchain-based enterprise file system sample for the state. It is reported that Delaware's corporate franchise business accounts for more than 25% of the state's revenue.
Delaware blockchain advocates say that the security of blockchain technology will increase the state's corporate filing fee and drive Delaware to surpass other states in terms of business registration.
Former governor Jack Markell told startups and investors at the 2016 New York City conference that the blockchain could unlock billions of dollars by accelerating asset trading, eliminating technical procedures and less business risk.
IBM develops a corporate file system sample
Under the $738,000 contract, IBM will test the computer code for the blockchain enterprise profile sample for future system-wide contracts.
Deputy Governor Kristopher Knight compared IBM to an architect who played the role of chief design before building concrete skyscrapers. The state government will use the sample to determine how the technology can help companies registered in Delaware.
State officials pointed out that Delaware was able to give the contract to IBM if only one IBM company bid was part of the contract because it was part of an existing consulting contract. Knight said the contract is very important to the state's business and that IBM is the leader in blockchain technology.
In addition, Knight said that when the government introduced technology projects, it often caused the cost to double due to improper planning. He said that Pennsylvania has experienced "a large number" of such projects in the past 20 years.
The progress of the project is not smooth sailing
The Delaware blockchain project faces some challenges. Earlier this year, the state paid IBM $49,000 for consulting the blockchain startup Symbiont, which eventually went bankrupt.
Symbiont CEO Mark Smith said state officials are concerned that blockchain file systems may hinder the activities of corporate lawyers and registered agents. He said that the system built for the state archives has never been used.
Smith also said that Governor John Carney is concerned that the project will affect employment creation issues involving companies.
When asked why IBM signed a contract with Symbiont, Knight first recognized the state's partnership with Symbiont, but said the government did not sign a contract with Symbiont.
Knight said that in the future to build a complete blockchain to support this enterprise file system, IBM will not participate.
Last year, Marker signed a bill recognizing stock trading on the blockchain because state judges urged investors to use distributed ledger technology to protect their votes. In November last year, Vice President J. Travis Laster said that distributed ledgers could eliminate intermediaries involved in stocks and voting.
IBM blockchain leader
In addition to signing contracts with four federal agencies, IBM recently won a $740 million contract to develop blockchain and other digital technology initiatives for the Australian government. Australia hopes to rank among the top three digitized governments by 2025.