The multinational technology and consulting company, IBM, denied this Tuesday, February 2, that its business unit with blockchains has been dismantled. The company said that changes have been made, but that these are part of its annual work schedule.
In a communication sent to CriptoNoticias, IBM Latin America said that an article published on Coindesk on 1 February is inaccurate and based entirely on discussions with anonymous sources.
“We maintain a strong team dedicated to blockchain across the company. We remain committed to technology, our ecosystem and the services that support it. We see blockchain as an engine for our hybrid cloud business. The platforms that IBM has built, such as TradeLens, Food Trust and We.Trade, continue to be a priority and we are also incorporating blockchain into our Sterling Supply Chain offering, ”the company highlighted in its message through spokesperson Luciana Peixoto.
The corporation added that the technology is also used to fight COVID-19 as part of the Digital Health Pass and the Vaccine Accountability Network. The first is a type of digital health passport to validate the condition of people in the midst of the pandemic, while the second is a solution for the correct distribution of vaccines.
Holli Haswell, IBM’s director of public relations for blockchain affairs, also highlighted that the company’s business with the so-called distributed ledger technology (DLT) is fine.
«Our blockchain business is doing well, thank you (…) we have realigned some leaders and business units to continue driving growth; We do it every year “, Haswell highlighted through an email sent to the aforementioned media outlet.
Haswell reiterated that IBM maintains its team dedicated to blockchains throughout the company. The spokesperson said that the company is committed to technology, the blockchain ecosystem and services. “We see blockchain as an engine for our business in the cloud,” he clarified.
The report also noted that Jerry Cuomo, head of blockchain at IBM, would have been reassigned to artificial intelligence projects. On this point the executive clarified that Cuomo is overseeing other “strategic and high growth parts of IBM’s business, but he is still involved in blockchain.”
An independent source consulted by CriptoNoticias said that IBM does not present results by specific business units or regions. This is related to the data recently disclosed and to the presentation of its balance for the last quarter of 2020 in which there was a decrease in earnings of 6%.
A search carried out on the professional network LinkedIn shows that IBM is recruiting developers for blockchain projects in Italy, Australia and the United States.
Alleged cuts in business with blockchains
According to the report, IBM’s blockchain business unit would have practically disappeared with staff cuts and reassignments to other departments of the company. The blockchain-related division would not have reached its revenue-generating goals, so it is restructuring itself, said an insider who preferred to protect its identity.
Four sources allege that most of the human talent hired for projects of this type is no longer in the company. Another of the informants went further and assured that “there really is no longer going to be a blockchain team.”
The people who offered information about the situation did so without revealing their identity since it is about of an unofficial matter. A second source assured that the goals were not reached for two consecutive years and that IBM maintained high expectations about the applications of blockchains in the business environment.
«I would bet that less than 10% (of the team) is still working on IBM blockchain (…) there have been tons of reorganizations. Almost everyone is gone. IBM is now 100% focused on the hybrid cloud, so everything that does not support that is de-prioritized “, highlighted another informant who claims to be a former employee of IBM’s blockchain division.
The cut in jobs would amount to about 100 during the last year, according to what was said by a blockchain engineer with long-standing employment ties with the company.
In an interview released in November by CriptoNoticias, Martin Hagelstrom, leader of IBM’s blockchain project for Latin America, stated that the multinational has worked “with almost all banks and we have examples of cash logistics networks, tools to prevent fraud and different use cases.”