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“Chess is not always about winning.  Sometimes it’s simply about learning.”

This anonymous quote summarizes the new battle between old antagonists; IBM and Microsoft.  These two tech giants have staked competing claims to blockchain dominance by backing competing standards.  IBM supports hyperledger while Microsoft is pushing Ethereum.  Both are decentralized ledgers that can be used to manage and validate almost any type of financial transactions.  But will one come out on top with the virtual blockchain crown?

There could be multiple kings, according to the article, IBM vs Microsoft: Two Tech Giants, Two Blockchain Visions.  While IBM and Microsoft are in a the race to build a business-friendly blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, the industry may not consolidate on a single platform like it did with Microsoft Windows.  The two competing blockchain platforms, Hyperledger and Ethereum, may both maintain large enough market shares to keep the industry segmented for many years.

There is a major underlying difference between the two blockchain standards:

Ethereum is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, of which Microsoft is not a member. This is a risk factor in that the Foundation could decide to change the underlying code, without Microsoft’s input. (The EEA does not influence the ethereum codebase.)

Hyperledger’s codebases are governed by a steering committee, of which IBM is a member, and an important one. (Microsoft is not a member of the Hyperledger consortium.) The committee could decide to make changes to Fabric, but not without IBM’s consent and contribution.

Will it be a world of private or public blockchains and who will host all our financial data?  I speak with fintech entrepreneur and futurist, Lex Sokolin, on our YouTube channel:

This video covers hyperledger vs ethereum and their strengths and weaknesses.  Are they mutually exclusive?  Which one has the best chance of coming out ahead?