Lots of companies are exploring how blockchain technology could change the way they do business, and the customer relationship management giant Salesforce is one of them. Co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff said recently that he expects to unveil a blockchain/cryptocurrency offering for Saleforce customers during the company’s annual Dreamforce developers conference in September.
Benioff made the comments during a March 28 fireside chat with co-founder/CTO Parker Harris and Business Insider’s Julie Bort. The on-stage discussion took place during Salesforce’s TrailheaDX conference in San Francisco.
The business market for blockchain and related crypto applications is beginning to take off, though the technology is still in the early stages of development. Global spending on blockchain solutions is expected to hit $2.1 billion this year, more than twice the amount spent in 2017, according to a recent forecast by analyst firm IDC.
Benioff: ‘I Was Like, Whoa.’
Based on cryptographic concepts similar to those used for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are being tested for a number of different applications in business, government, and other areas. Decentralized databases can, among other things, help verify and validate digital records for supply chains, financial transactions, digital identity management, and more.
Salesforce has been broadly eyeing blockchain along with other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, but Benioff said during the TrailheaDX event that a lightbulb went off in his head while he was at the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos in January. A blockchain conference was taking place in the city at the same time, and Benioff said he began speaking with one of the attendees at a bar one day.
“I had been thinking about what is Salesforce’s strategy in blockchain,” Benioff told Bort. “And then in my mind, all of a sudden I just…