IBM debuts commercial blockchain-as-a-service platform

20 Mar 2017

Image: Konstantin Faraktinov/Shutterstock

IBM is tapping into the vast potential for blockchain technology with the launch of one of the first commercially available ‘blockchain-as-a-service’ platforms based on an open source platform.

Blockchain may have started out as the technology that underlined the transaction process of bitcoin, but the distributed ledger platform is now being heralded as a game-changer within multiple sectors, from finance to supply chain management.

Now, in a bid to make its technology one of the frontrunners in the commercial world, IBM has debuted a blockchain platform it is simply calling IBM Blockchain.

According to IBM, it is the first enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, designed to provide a framework for building enterprise-grade blockchain networks that can quickly scale as new network members join.

By using this open source platform, IBM will allow developers to quickly build and host production blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud and transact at rates of more than 1,000 transactions per second among large ecosystems of users.

This means, in action, a private company – or even a government agency – can test networks for people to share information, with the incentive that it would be completely secure, encrypted and unreadable by anyone but the two parties involved.

Diving head first into blockchain

“IBM has applied decades of experience running the world’s largest transaction systems for banks, airlines, governments and retailers, to build the most secure blockchain services for the enterprise,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain.

“IBM’s blockchain services are built on IBM’s high security business network and designed for organisations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business.”

The company is also looking to make blockchain more accessible to businesses with a developer tool called Fabric Composer, based on the Hyperledger Fabric code.

This will allow companies signed up to IBM Blockchain to build their own interfaces, capable of integrating into existing systems.

This announcement comes not long after the company signed a partnership with shipping giants Maersk to use blockchain to manage millions of shipping containers across the globe.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic