UPDATED 21:26 EDT / FEBRUARY 01 2021


IBM denies claim it greatly scaled back its blockchain unit

International Business Machines Corp. today denied a report that claims it has greatly scaled back its blockchain unit and laid off the majority of the unit’s staff.

The report, from Ian Allison at Coindesk referencing “four people similar with the situation,” said IBM has cut its blockchain team down to almost nothing after failing to meet revenue targets by 90% this year.

Allison quotes a source at a startup that’s interviewing former IBM blockchain staffers as saying that “IBM is doing a major reorganization” and “that there is not really going to be a blockchain team any longer. Most of the blockchain people at IBM have left.”

Holli Haswell, director of public relations at IBM, strongly denied the claim, saying that the blockchain business is doing well. Haswell did note, however, that “we have realigned some leaders and business units to continue to drive growth – we do that every year.”

For a division alleged soon not to exist, IBM Blockchain continues to appear busy signing deals. IBM announced a deal with Thai Reinsurance Public Co. Ltd. for a blockchain and smart contracts based reinsurance platform Jan. 7, while in December, IBM teamed with Salesforce Inc. to apply its blockchain tech to build a Digital Health Pass to enable organizations to verify COVID-19 vaccination and health credentials.

IBM did miss its revenue targets in its fourth-quarter earnings, with revenue down across the board by 6.5%, to $20.37 billion. Those figures were booked amid an uncertain business climate that continues to be influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although IBM has pushed extensively into cloud services, it maintains a good portion of legacy businesses that are not well-placed to benefit from the switch to remote working. For example, IBM is planning to spin off its $19 billion managed-infrastructure services business this year.

Photo: Rosemaryetoufee/Wikimedia Commons

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.

One click below supports our mission to provide free, deep, and relevant content.  

Join our community on YouTube

Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, and many more luminaries and experts.

“TheCUBE is an important partner to the industry. You guys really are a part of our events and we really appreciate you coming and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy