Bridget van Kralingen

Senior Vice President, Global Industries, Platforms and Blockchain

Since 2016, Van Kralingen has headed a largely female IBM team working to develop blockchain technology and, conceivably, do for trusted transactions what the internet did for information several decades ago. A former Deloitte executive who made the leap to IBM 15 years ago, Van Kralingen believes the technology, while nascent now, will one day be used by the insurance industry to protect client policies, by the Centers for Disease Control to secure health-care records and even by financial institutions to vault customers’ identities. “From my point of view, there is a vast application for the technology underlying Bitcoin, the distributed ledger technology,” Van Kralingen said during a Re/Code panel in May. “On the one hand, we’ll deal with the regulation around currencies, tokens, crypto — and that will continue to expand for all of us. But the ‘use cases’ really around Bitcoin are more like an operating system for trust because you have permission capability, you have the fact that it’s transparent, it’s trackable, there’s provenance, and as the technology matures and we can do it fast and safely, you’ll see all sorts of use cases emerge — things like the provenance of your food, the provenance of your jewelry, your identity.”