Airbus Joins the Hyperledger ProjectAugust 16, 2016
If the saying is true that any project is only as strong as its active elements, then the blockchain expansion just attained a huge new push. The French manufacturer of airplanes Airbus has decided to join the Hyperledger Project, which is a blockchain initiative lead by the Linux Foundation.
The news is really important for the foundation because it brings one of the true super-companies of the manufacturing world into this project. Aside from gathering a lot of press attention, it also fuses the French company with this particular brand of blockchain that is under development inside of the Linux IT space.
But, as many other pieces of news from the aircraft manufacturing business that have come out in the recent years, the underlying ecosystem of needs and hopes of the included parties is a lot more complex.
The most famous manifestations of blockchain technology is BitCoin and its applications, like betting online using BTC are widely known. But, at the same time, cryptocurrencies still exist under the financial sector. The aircraft manufacturing industry is something else entirely.
Adding a layer of a much-decentralized technology that provides an incredible potential for increasing effectiveness does not only make the situation any clearer, but it actually complicates the playing field in the aviation industry. Here are some of the most important facts about the deal that was made and also how this plays into this particular branch of global business.
A Chance for Blockchain
Airbus, based in the French town of Toulouse, is a very successful company by any standard. In 2015, the company sold more than one thousand aircraft, beating their main rival the Boeing Company in the process. Now, Airbus has decided to actively contribute to the project and offer many forms of assistance in its development.
Here, the company will be joining the giants like Intel, JPMorgan, and IBM, just to name a few of the most well-known. As a result of this development, the blockchain-focused media outlets are really trying to figure out why someone like Airbus would enter the domain of this potential, but at the same time, specialized technology.
But, being in a place that is also located in the crosshairs of the media and the limelight this brings is nothing new for the company. Established in 1970, the company fought tooth and nail to arrive at its current status. Today, it produces the biggest passenger plane in the world, the A380.
But, because it was created as a joint venture between France and Germany, it had a bumpy road as it developed through the decades. Across the Atlantic, the Boeing Company was always seen as its biggest rival and someone who had the inside track in the industry.
Today, however, this seems to have changed. Now, Airbus produces a larger number of passenger planes and not only that, this news shows that it is prepared to venture out of its primary domain.
A Blockchain Opportunity
Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of the Hyperledger declared that the entrance of Airbus into the ecosystem proves that blockchain tech has a lot to offer to practically anyone. Instead of being simply a tech advance that will be able to enrich the domains of healthcare and finance, Behlendorf sees a much wider potential. According to him, the key element that will contribute to the success of Hyperledger is the expertise of its members and the guidance they provide.
Now, Airbus offered its team to the same project which will be a great addition that will drive the initiative forward. The GitHub page for the project states that currently there are two employees from Airbus who are engaged in one of its subcommittees.
Additional data shows that the company has its Emerging Technologies and Concepts working group working internally on the possibilities of blockchain in the industry. But, at the same time, Airbus did not come out with any formal statement on the latter, which is understandable because of the nature of these R&D projects.
The Airline Industry and Blockchain
There is little doubt that Airbus desires to be tight-lipped about the entire process when it comes to their experts and blockchain. But, it is clear that the same development shows a rising interest of the airline industry in the blockchain technology. Recently, another startup working in the blockchain called ShoCard created a partnership with an IT company called SITA which works in the airline industry, with the purpose of developing an app that will work in the domain of identity management.
At first, the coalition between airline carriers and blockchain seems like a logical decision on both sides, mainly when it comes to the custom experience. But, Airbus is a manufacturer and its clients are huge airline companies or even national companies, so their interest is not that evident at the first sight. But, deeper under the surface, there are some signs that companies like this would be more than interested in Hyperledger.
In spite of the fact that it was launched last year, the same project currently encompasses about 80 members, ranging from new startups to huge and very well established companies. But, unlike Airbus, not all of the engaged companies have been publicly announced.
Working on Improvements
As many wonder what made Airbus enter Hyperledger project, it is enough to take the lessons of the not-so-distant past and see that the potentials are always huge when it comes to IT. Usually, informational technologies had a limited reach when it comes to industries where they could be put to use. The same phenomenon was seen in personal computing when many wondered in the late 1970’s why would anyone want to have a PC in their home.
Today, there are signs that the evolution of the IT can quickly suck in completely unexpected industries. For example, E-Sports and their FPS representatives have just in the past few months made a huge and sudden leap into the area of online betting. In fact, they did this so fast that the legislature of many nations was completely caught by surprise. Soon, the same will become true for on-site blockchain-based betting and many more things that currently seem far-fetched.
Here as well, it is certain that Airbus tries very hard to find anything that could potentially help them in their business dealings. If there is a chance for blockchain to enhance some domain inside of their business cycle, they will go for it with no hesitation. Hyperledger is an ongoing process that allows them to double their R&D potential which is why they took it up and there is almost no doubt that other giant companies will follow them toward the same goal.