IBM empowers Singapore startup with blockchain and Bluemix for island-wide federated lockers network

Via IBM Press Center

Oct 25, 2016

SINGAPORE - 24 Oct 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM ) today announced it is working with Singapore start-up FreshTurf in the Singapore location of its IBM Bluemix Garage network. Using IBM Cloud and Blockchain technologies, FreshTurf has been working with IBM Bluemix Garage developers and designers to create a network of storage lockers for shipping and parcel delivery throughout Singapore. This locker ledger network is designed to help improve the “last mile” of delivery services for consumers and businesses, or the final leg of a package’s journey to a customer’s home.

Blockchain is a technology for a new generation of transactions which establish accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes. Fueled by and built on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, IBM and FreshTurf intend to build a distributed ledger platform prototype specifically designed to manage commercial transactions between merchants, logistic vendors, locker companies and consumers. Not only can the application of blockchain technology help provide visibility across the fulfilment chain, allowing users to track their parcel and delivery status from the convenience of their phone, it can help stakeholders to conduct shipping transactions in a highly secure and trusted environment.

IBM Bluemix Garages serve as a hub where developers, product managers and designers can come together to build on Bluemix. The Singapore Bluemix Garage is one of the latest in IBM’s global network, which also includes locations in San Francisco, London, Toronto, Nice and Tokyo.

FreshTurf is a startup in Singapore working with the IBM Bluemix Garage, intending to use the IBM Blockchain service on Bluemix for tracking the shipment of goods. The service is built on top of the Hyperledger Project fabric from the Linux Foundation. The idea for the startup came about when founders, Kevin Lim and Jarryl Hong, were discussing the inconvenience of online shopping delivery in Singapore. In most cases, parcel deliveries only take place during office hours and in cases where no one is home, delivery can be insecure and the process of claiming parcels can be tedious.

To help solve this void in the market, FreshTurf turned to the IBM Bluemix Garage for a Design Thinking workshop, immersing the company in a unique, user-centric approach to design which helped them to rapidly identify and build a product best suited for their target base.

“As a startup, we wanted a partner and mentor who would guide us through the journey of adopting blockchain and building with cloud, while also helping us to grow,” said Jarryl Hong, Co-Founder, FreshTurf. “During the Design Thinking workshop, we had access to technical expertise, consulting and guidance through working with the IBM Bluemix Garage which allowed us to quickly build our concept. The IBM Bluemix Garage’s methods of Design Thinking, use of cloud and agile development practices served as the foundation of our startup.”

While blockchain has often been cited as a breakthrough in the financial services industry, IBM and FreshTurf are breaking new ground with IBM Blockchain in Singapore. The application of this emerging technology, combined with the power and agility of IBM Cloud, is showing great promise across a broad range of business applications, proving it has the potential to disrupt and transform industries outside the financial sector as well.

“We chose IBM because they are a global leader in building blockchain on the cloud, with vast experience in blockchain projects around the world and across multiple industries. Bluemix is also the most convenient way to test an IBM Blockchain network on the cloud, so it all added up for us,” added Kevin Lim, Co-Founder, Fresh Turf.

“IBM is working closely with startups and larger enterprises alike to accelerate the design and development of blockchain applications,” said Alan Lim, Practice Lead, IBM Blockchain & Bluemix Garage , ASEAN. “B lockchain represents a very exciting and vital part of IBM’s business. Organizations large and small have the potential to disrupt and fundamentally rewrite existing business models, processes and systems and emerge as leaders in their chosen industry.”

Blockchain is one of the advanced services available to developers on Bluemix, on which more than 120,000 apps are launched every month. Bluemix has rapidly grown to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world. Based in open standards, it features over 150 tools and services spanning categories of big data, mobile, cognitive computing, analytics, security, blockchain and Internet of Things.

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