International Business Machines Corp has announced the launch of a service for businesses to build applications on its cloud using blockchain code from the Hyperledger Project, the cross-industry group led by the Linux Foundation.
The new product, IBM Blockchain, is the first service that allows developers to build enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the first code set to be released by the open source group. IBM states that the Fabric blockchain is capable of processing more than 1,000 transactions per second making the creation of own applications possible for large enterprises.
IBM has also partnered with SecureKey Technologies to enable a new digital identity and create a network based on IBM Blockchain. The network is expected to facilitate consumers’ verification. As soon as the network is launched this year, consumers will be able to employ the network to instantly verify their identity for services such as new bank accounts, driver’s licenses or utilities. They will get an opportunity to control what identifying information they share from trusted credentials to the organizations of their choice, for those organizations to quickly and efficiently validate the consumer’s identity and arrange new services.
“What IBM is building with SecureKey and members of the digital identity ecosystem in Canada, including major banks, telecom companies and government agencies, will help tackle the toughest challenges surrounding identity,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. “This method is an entirely different approach to identity verification, and together with SecureKey, we have a head start on putting it on the blockchain. This is a prime example of the type of innovation permissioned blockchain networks can accelerate.”
“Hyperledger Fabric is by far the most advanced permissioned-blockchain technology available today, in my opinion, both in protecting user data and allowing us to work within the context of industry and country privacy laws,” said Greg Wolfond, Founder and CEO, SecureKey Technologies. “Among the many contributors to Hyperledger Fabric including SecureKey, IBM is a standout innovator that has proven that they can rapidly bring blockchain solutions to production. We are very excited to enter into this formal agreement that will benefit consumers around the world.”
Blockchain has been attracting increased investments recently. Large businesses, including many of the world’s leading banks, as well as technology companies and professional services firms have been working to adopt the technology in order to reduce the complexity and costs of some of their most burdensome processes, such as the settlement of securities or international payments.
IBM is one of the companies that are known for their interest in the blockchain. It has several large customers developing applications with the technology with Northern Trust Corp, Wal-Mart Stores Inc and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation among others.
One of the last IBM’s contributions to the blockchain development is partnership with Maersk, Denmark-based transport and logistics company, to develop a new blockchain-based platform to manage cross-border transactions in the shipping supply chain, and partnership with Chinese company Energy-Blockchain Labs to release the platform based on the new IBM Blockchain.