IBM also made a range of announcements spanning technology and business consulting to rapidly advance the use of distributed ledger technology across multiple industries:
New blockchain services help create and manage blockchain networks to power a new class of distributed ledger applications. Developers can create digital assets and accompanying business logic to more securely and privately transfer assets among members of a permissioned blockchain test network. Using IBM's new blockchain services available on Bluemix, developers can access fully integrated DevOps tools for creating, deploying, running and monitoring blockchain applications on the IBM Cloud.
Blockchain applications can also be deployed on IBM z Systems, enabling an additional level of security, availability and performance for handling sensitive and regulated data. Blockchain applications can access existing transactions on distributed servers and z Systems through APIs to support new payment, settlement, supply chain and business processes.
Using its Watson IoT Platform, IBM will make it possible for information from devices such as RFID-based locations, barcode-scan events, or device-reported data to be used with IBM's Blockchain. Devices will be able to communicate to blockchain-based ledgers to update or validate smart contracts. For example, as an IoT-connected package moves along multiple distribution points, the package location and temperature information could be updated on a blockchain. This allows all parties to share information and status of the package as it moves among multiple parties to ensure the terms of a contract are met.
To help accelerate the design and development of blockchain applications, IBM Garages will open in London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo to enable IBM experts to collaborate with developers on the design and implementation of blockchain for business. IBM Global Business Services will also expand its blockchain consulting practice for clients in banking and financial services and logistics. IBM Interactive Experience (IBM iX), the largest global digital agency, will also engage clients to co-design new use cases for blockchain in more than 25 IBM Studios around the globe.
IBM is working with a number of global partners including London Stock Exchange Group and the Finnish business development organisation, Kouvola Innovation. "London Stock Exchange Group 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", stated Moiz Kohari, EVP, group head of technology innovation, London Stock Exchange Group. "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."
"Blockchain provides a revolutionary approach that enables businesses across industries all around the world to completely change their logistics business and operations", stated Mika Lammi, head of IoT business development at Kouvola Innovation, Finland. "We're excited about the potential for blockchain to transform logistics value chains into a more seamless process that provides a trusted view of every piece of cargo. The IBM Blockchain fabric, together with the Watson IoT platform, offers great potential to bring together the physical and digital worlds in a way that has never been done before."
This news underscores IBM's recent submission of nearly 44,000 lines of code to the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project. As a founding member of the Hyperledger Project, IBM's code was developed through the collaboration of more than 35 global IBM Researchers and software developers dedicated to the Linux Foundation project, and more than 100 technical architects focused on making blockchain ready for business. IBM offered code to the open source Hyperledger Project to help developers easily build secure distributed ledgers that can be used to exchange most anything of value.
IBM's unique capabilities include:
"In just a few short months, IBM's vision for making blockchain a powerful new business solution across multiple industries is becoming a reality as our clients begin piloting innovative new code, services and z Systems optimized for distributed ledgers", stated Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research. "These advancements are making it easier for developers to move from understanding the potential of blockchain, to actually using it to change their business processes in powerful new ways."