IBM Offers Bitcoin-Style Blockchain From its Cloud
By Amelia Ross
IBM has borrowed Bitcoin’s concept of blockchains to make online payments more secure.
Big Blue will offer a cloud-based service on Bluemix that lets developers integrate blockchain technology to support their apps’ payment methods.
The blockchain concept underpins cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and contains a record of every Bitcoin transaction ever made, and shows the person making the payment, the person receiving the payment, and the amount transferred between them.
DevOps tools in Bluemix’s cloud help developers create, deploy, run and monitor blockchain applications that they can either run on IBM’s cloud or, for added security, on IBM z Systems mainframes.
These mainframe blockchain apps would be able to access existing transactions on distributed servers and on z Systems, letting developers use them to support new payment processes.
Its release of blockchain tools for developers is just one announcement about the project, with IBM also making 44,000 lines of code available to the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, which developers can use to build ledgers that can support all sorts of alternative currency exchanges.
IoT and blockchain
Elsewhere, using IBM’s Watson Internet of Things (IoT) Platform, connected devices will be able to communicate with blockchain ledgers. By taking this IoT data, the scheme could see “smart contracts” updated on the fly, for example by charting the progress of a connected package, all parties could share information on its status to ensure the terms of a contract are met.
Another innovation will see IBM Garages open up offices in London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo so IBM experts can work with businesses on implementing blockchains.
IBM Global Business Services will also expand its blockchain consulting practice for clients in banking and financial services and logistics.
Moiz Kohari, group head of technology innovation at the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) , said: “LSEG is directly engaged in the development of the open blockchain technologies with IBM and we are excited to help enable the creation of solutions that will help manage risk and bring additional transparency to global financial markets.
“We believe this technology has the potential to drive change across the industry but will need to be developed in partnership with customers and industry participants under an open source approach.”
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