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Oracle's Blockchain Cloud Service is generally available

Organizations from a range of sectors are already using the service, including customers in banking, supply chain management, agriculture and banking.

Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, which Oracle rolled out at the OpenWorld conference in October, is now generally available.

As the name makes clear, the offering makes blockchain technology available as a service. Oracle customers pay per usage, paying for each transaction going to a blockchain.

A blockchain, the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is a shared, distributed ledger that can store complete transaction histories. It has a variety of use cases for enterprises that want to rely on tamper-proof transactions to create new revenue streams or improve business operations.

While blockchain technology has the potential to help digitize and transform industries, it's still very new to most enterprises: In Gartner's 2018 CIO Survey, just 1 percent of CIOs reported any blockchain adoption and only 8 percent were in short-term planning or active experimentation.

"It's still early days, no doubt," Amit Zavery, EVP of the Oracle Cloud Platform, told ZDNet. However, he added, "I don't think there's any question about the applicability and interest around it -- or the feasibility and delivery making it possible."

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So far, organizations from a range of industries have adopted Oracle's blockchain platform: For instance, Solar Site Design is a solar energy provider using it to track solar energy usage and the promotional rewards it offers. Using blockchain technology to provide a single source of truth provides customers with more transparency and the assurance the data is accurate.

Meanwhile, the shipping enterprise CargoSmart is using Oracle's blockchain platform to help digitize, from end to end, the process of tracking shipments and deliveries. Other organizations using the blockchain service already include: Arab Jordan Investment Bank, the Tuscan olive oil company Certified Origins, the oil and gas company Indian Oil, logistics firm Intelipost and the medical software business Neurosoft.

Zavery said there's even interest from government agencies, aiming to use blockchain technology for challenges such as managing property titles. In countries where land rights are hard to prove and vulnerable to fraud, blockchain technology offers a secure way to manage that information.

Once a customer subscribes to Oracle's Blockchain Cloud Service, which is part of the Oracle Cloud Platform, they can use the platform to build a blockchain network and then let Oracle manage the network infrastructure. Customers can then build their own smart contracts and applications on top of the network.

Alternatively, they can use Oracle's pre-built applications that leverage blockchain technology for common use cases such as track and trace, provenance identification, warranty and usage and cold chain.