Oracle rolling out blockchain products as soon as this month

(Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. will unveil its blockchain software starting this month, joining the growing list of companies offering products that use the digital-ledger technology behind Bitcoin.

The Redwood City, California-based company will introduce a platform-as-a-service blockchain product this month and decentralized ledger-based applications next month, Thomas Kurian, president of product development, said Monday at Oracle headquarters.

Blockchain is essentially a spreadsheet that’s duplicated and updated regularly across thousands of computers over the internet. The structure eliminates risks that come with information held centrally by a single entity, like cloud-computing providers.

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Thomas Kurian, president of product development at Oracle Corp., smiles during the Oracle OpenWorld 2017 conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Oracle Corp. plans to pay its leaders more than $100 million each in fiscal 2018, an increase of about 150 percent, as it rips a page from Tesla Inc.'s playbook to change its executive-compensation practices in response to investor complaints. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The world’s second-largest software company is working with Banco de Chile to log inter-bank transactions on a hyperledger, Kurian said. Another client is the government of Nigeria, which has sought to document customs and import duties on blockchain. Oracle’s products will also be pitched to pharmaceutical companies to track and trace batches of medicine, which may potentially ease recalls.

Behind the hype of cryptocurrencies, software companies have raced to leverage the blockchain’s ledger model to simplify processes. Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff said in March that his company wants to unveil a blockchain product by its annual Dreamforce conference this fall. International Business Machines Corp. and Inc.’s cloud unit have also both sought enterprise uses for blockchain technology. Kurian said Oracle’s products will be compatible with other platforms.

--With assistance from Julie Verhage