WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
- Blockchain is quickly emerging as one of the world’s most disruptive technologies, and IBM wants everyone to have access to it
Following hot on the heels of announcing that it wants to be the first company to offer the world’s first universal “Quantum Computing as a Service” platform, IBM has just unveiled its new “Blockchain as a Service,” or BaaS for short, which is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric from the Linux Foundation.
IBM first introduced the concept of BaaS last year but now it believes that its new service is ready for prime time, and it’s hoping that it’s going to go down a storm with developers who are busy building blockchain applications that audit, monitor, support and track everything from the entire US military, all the way through to tuna and pigs, Universal Basic Income (UBI) programs and foreign exchange trading.
Blockchain first rose to prominence in 2008 as a way to track the digital currency Bitcoin, and at its core is a transparent and tamper proof digital ledger that allows any private company, or government institution, to create a trusted network where members can share information freely, knowing that only members can see it, and where the information can’t be altered once it’s been entered.
Although IBM’s BaaS platform is based on the open source Hyperledger project the company still says that it’s safe enough and secure enough for enterprises to adopt.
“Only an Open Source, collaborative software development approach can ensure the transparency, longevity, interoperability, and support required to bring blockchain technologies forward to mainstream commercial adoption,” said Jerry Cuomo, VP of Blockchain Technology at IBM , “that is what Hyperledger is about – communities of software developers building blockchain frameworks and platforms.”
To satisfy enterprise users though, IBM has added another layer of security services courtesy of the IBM cloud. The computing giant also claims that their blockchain network offers full transparency and auditing capabilities, along similar lines to the one that was recently unveiled by Google’s DeepMind division as a way to audit its work in the UK NHS. The idea is that this gives administrators a trail they can follow in case something goes wrong, or in the unlikely event that the network is breached.
IBM’s vision for blockchain isn’t just limited to the enterprise though – in 2015 they entered into a partnership with Samsung to create a blockchain based ledger for the Internet of Things that they dubbed Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry (ADEPT). It’s a testament to just how much potential blockchain has – ultimately, the technology takes digital security and transparency to a whole new level, one that we’ll need as we push further into a future of extreme connectivity.