IBM was one of the first big corporations to get involved with digital currency.
They started World Wire a few years ago, and have had a 'blockchain services' section on their website for a while. They certainly own a vast amount of Stellar Lumens from their World Wire days, and seem to be deliberately sitting on that hoard, maybe because selling at a massive profit would trigger scrutiny. IBM's net profit last year was ~$4 billion and Stellar's market cap right now is almost four times that. IBM probably has a lot of the XLM coin supply.
A year or so ago two key people left IBM blockchain with little noise.
Several months ago Donald Trump gave hints that he knew something about IBM that made it a 'buy'.
For at least a year, its blockchain services pages have been baffling. They are clearly written by somebody who has no familiarity whatsoever with digital currency. Is it really possible that IBM has nobody who is able to comprehend blockchain? Or is that part of some ruse?
Something either very negative or very positive is being obscured.
Last month an article tried to further push the image of IBM blockchain down. Was IBM itself behind the article?
Would a major corporate entity which has been involved for some time in Hyper Ledger, an open source corporate/public blockchain project, really be gutting its blockchain business just as the crypto economy starts heating up?
The evidence seems to be
1) IBM is involved in some pending governmental aspect of blockchain technology
2) It does not take an economist to figure out that 99% of the digital currencies which exist now are trash and will not last long in an honest market. All currencies which exist now, including bitcoin, are 100% vulnerable to government whim, but the ultimate motive of the policy types with regard to coins is unknown.
3) IBM is currently buying ads on Google to promote Hyperledger, probably paying a lot per click. The use examples they give are silly. They are aimed at conservative people worried about a new technology, and are designed to repel the young crypto crowd.
4) Obviously something is going on behind the scenes at IBM.
An alternate theory, and probably the prevailing view, is that executives at IBM were unhappy that their Blockchain people jumped into a scammy Ripple like project so they tossed the department's leaders overboard.
That does not explain the fact that World Wire was initially promoted by people familiar with blockchain possibilities, but the current web pages are not. The appearance is that IBM has deliberately dumbed down its blockchain section.
Nor does it clean up their investment in XLM. At some point they are going to have to say 'Oops, we just found several billion dollars'.
The two main possibilities then are a) they are sitting and waiting to see what path blockchain takes, or b) they know which way it will go, but are playing coy for corporate reasons.
Their web pages deliberately repel the current flock of coin speculators, but they have a marketing campaign which caters to people who don't know much and are on the conservative conventional side. The implication is that they are deliberately encouraging the flow of money from 'new bitcoin' people to more conventional investors, from stupid people to smart people in the conventional view. That seems to be the motive behind Donald Trump's IBM reference, as well as the motive behind the bureaucrat types who are guiding IBM's strategy.
Hyperledger is corporate FOMO, not a step forward.
FOMO = Fear of Missing Out, an attempt to pretend they are ahead of the curve in this case.
A little history.
Lots of coins existed pre bitcoin.
When bitcoin appeared, a lot of people recognized that it was scammy, but would become popular. At that point there were three public camps.
a) Bitcoin is cool, let's get rich and disempower fiat,
b) Bitcoin is a scam, avoid it,
c) Bitcoin is a scam, its only a distributed ledger.
What a lot of people don't understand is that those who called it a ledger were just being polite. The rude detractors would say 'it's a scam', and the polite detractors would say 'it's just a distributed ledger'.
The supporters then had to choose which of the two negatives to jump aboard. Obviously they chose the 'it's a ledger'.
Is a distributed ledger anything significant?
Is it the next wave of anything?
It is not. It's like saying when the automobile was invented the big step was the invention of the sunroof.
When things like computing power are monetized they will mostly use a distributed ledger, but the 'distributed ledger' part is trivial.
So Hyperledger is an extension of the original bitcoin scam, but its a version backed by corporations and government.
A brief look at IBM's pages on the topic confirm that they have no real plans to do anything too significant with Hyperledger. They are marketing it as some sort of ruse. Would they really be throwing money into a pit? Unlikely. Which points to them biding their time until some unknown development. The context of Trump's comments last year points to some sort of government collaboration with IBM on something to do with digital currency.
The furthest foreseeable certain step in the development of digital currencies is network task coins, as described elsewhere on this site.
Whether there is going to be an intermediate step involving more idiot coins like bitcoin, for example cbdc's etc, who knows.
CBDCs could be simple precursors to ai coins, and, likely as that probably is, it is a tragedy. Another step towards corporate hell.