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What Do Facebook, Alibaba, and IBM Have in Common?

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:16 p.m. ET

Appetite for blockchain technology

Facebook’s (FB) social media business is powered by advertising dollars. Alibaba (BABA) is a major player in the e-commerce space, with interests in cloud computing and financial technology. IBM (IBM) is a legacy leader in the information technology business, releasing applications for enterprises around the world. As much as these companies operate in different core industries, there is a common thread that joins them—an appetite for blockchain technology.

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$60.7 billion revenue opportunity

Alibaba and IBM have been shown to be leading the race to patent blockchain ideas. Alibaba leads with 90 blockchain patent filings, followed by IBM with 89 blockchain patent filings. Mastercard (MA) and Bank of America (BAC) are also active in blockchain research and now have 80 and 53 blockchain patent filings, respectively.

Blockchain technology could generate $60.7 billion in annual revenues by 2024, up from $708.0 million in 2017, according to Market Reports Center.

Facebook hunting for blockchain dealmaker

Facebook (FB) is among the companies vying for blockchain revenues. The company has created a blockchain team led by the former leader of its Messenger app, David Marcus. The team is exploring how Facebook could use blockchain technology. Although Facebook’s specific intentions for blockchain technology isn’t clear, the company recently posted a job listing, noting, “Facebook is seeking an experienced leader to head business development and partnerships for its blockchain efforts.” 

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