IBM making hard push for blockchain through cloud platform

At its annual InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, tech titan IBM argued yet again for the widespread adoption of blockchain technology despite being seemingly the lone IT giant actively advocating it.

IBM Research senior vice president Arvind Krishna at the InterConnect 2017 in Las Vegas

IBM Research senior vice president Arvind Krishna at the InterConnect 2017 in Las Vegas

Asked in a press briefing why IBM is aggressively pursuing blockchain, top company executives said the technology world needs a “common protocol” to keep order in a variety of industries, especially in the financial and supply chain sectors.

“By leveraging on blockchain, companies can avoid fraud and easily track their transactions,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president at IBM Research.

While many think blockchain is an inherently safe technology, IBM said blockchain networks are only as safe as the infrastructures on which they reside.

IBM said its High Security Business Network offers secure Linux infrastructure that integrates security from the hardware up through the software stack.

The company said its blockchain service is designed to help developers deploy and manage blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud, and the company was first-to-market with its High Security Business Network services for regulated environments.

The tech behemoth said clients ranging from startup Everledger to financial services firm Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Northern Trust are among the organizations now running their blockchain applications on the IBM Cloud.

“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 for IBM Blockchain.

“IBM’s blockchain services are built on IBM’s High Security Business Network and designed for organizations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business.”

To further promote the technology, the company announced the IBM Blockchain, which is said to be the first enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0.

The service enables developers to build and host production blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud, and is underpinned by IBM LinuxONE server.

The Linux Foundation’s open-source Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 is being developed by members of the Hyperledger consortium alongside other open-source blockchain technologies.

The Hyperledger consortium’s Technical Steering Committee recently promoted Fabric from incubator to active state and it is expected to be available in the coming weeks.

It is designed to provide a framework for building enterprise-grade blockchain networks that can quickly scale as new network members join and transact at rates of more than 1,000 transactions per second among large ecosystems of users.

ONGOING | Why is IBM pushing blockchain technology? Company executives explain the reasons at the ongoing InterConnect tech event in Las Vegas. #ibminterconnect

Posted by Newsbytes.PH on Monday, March 20, 2017

Also at InterConnect, IBM announced the availability of the first commercially available blockchain governance tools and new open-source developer tools that automate the steps it takes to build with the Hyperledger Fabric from weeks to days.

The new blockchain governance tools make it easy to set up a blockchain network and assign roles and levels of visibility from a single dashboard. They help network members set rules, manage membership, and enforce network compliance once the network is up and running.

Once setup is initiated, members can determine the rules of the blockchain and share consent when new members request to join the network.

In addition, the deployment tool assigns each network a Network Trust Rating of 1 to 100. New network members can view this before joining and determine whether or not they can trust the network enough to participate. Organizations can also take steps to improve their Trust Ratings before moving into production.

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