blockchain as a service

IBM launches cloud-based blockchain

Blockchain services will soon be available to developers who want to build and host blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud.

Based on the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, IBM Blockchain gives enterprises a framework for building scalable blockchain networks that can support more than 1,000 transactions per second, IBM officials said. 

Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger system that securely records transactions in a verifiable and permanent way.  Each step or record in the transaction process --- the "block" in the transaction chain -- is locked, and the details of each block are carried forward to the next, with each subsequent block containing a hash of the previous one. As the chain grows, it becomes computationally impossible to modify.

IBM's Blockchain as a service is designed to help developers create, deploy and manage blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud, using the company’s High Security Business Network services designed for regulated environments.  The network services ensure:

  • Protection from insider attacks
  • Assurance Level certification of EAL5+ certification
  • Secure service containers
  • Tamper-responsive hardware security modules
  • A highly auditable operating environment

Several financial services clients --  from startup Everledger to established financial institutions like Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Northern Trust -- are  currently running their blockchain applications on the IBM Cloud, the company said.

"IBM Blockchain will enable organizations to acquire blockchain functionality quickly without the risks and costs associated with buying and deploying the technology themselves," Jeff Kaplan, managing director of ThinkStrategies, told LinuxInsider. "It gives IBM a good method to quickly win customers and market share."

IBM also announced blockchain governance and open-source developer tools that automate the steps it takes to build with the Hyperledger Fabric.

The new blockchain governance tools let developers set up a blockchain network and assign roles and levels of visibility from a single dashboard. Network members can set rules, manage memberships and enforce network compliance once the network is up and running, officials said.

The Fabric Composer open-source developer tools can help users model business networks, quickly build a user interface  and create application programming interfaces that integrate the blockchain network with existing systems of record.

IBM Blockchain for Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 is now available through a beta program on IBM Bluemix. Hyperledger Fabric is also available on Docker Hub as IBM-certified image available for download at no cost.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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