Big Blue aims to support developers working on the tech that props up Bitcoin
IBM has revealed a mission to pursue blockchain on its Bluemix cloud developer platform in a bid to bring the Bitcoin supporting technology deeper into businesses.
Big Blue is also keen to drive forward the Hyperledger project, an open source standard it supports, along with many others including the Linux Foundation, to create standards and advancements in cross-industry blockchain technologies.
To do this IBM has launched new programs to help developers create and commercialise blockchain apps, and offer a revenue sharing programme to support the development of hyperledger-based networks hosted on the IBM Cloud, as well as host the first hyperledger Fabric version 1.0 “Connect-a-Thon” for supporting developers using the code.
“The idea is we want this to become an open standard that anybody can use, because to be honest blockchain look like it’s going to be pretty big and if we don’t do that it stands that we’re going to spend the next few year doing integration between different blockchain systems,” said Tom Appleyard, blockchain developer at IBM’s London Bluemix Garage told Silicon UK.
By looking to bypass the need to do such integration work, IBM stands more of a chance alongside the Hyperledger project in creating a set of standards for the use of blockchain technologies rather than needing to create software to tie lots of blockchain technology together.
Appleyard noted that taking this approach will help spread the use of blockchains beyond early-adopters and financial technology startups and aim it at “anybody who’s interested in using it”.
“The blockchain service we have on Bluemix is aimed at anybody who want to use the blockchain service,” he said. “Obviously, the financial industry has taken a big interest in blockchain technology, so it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of the people who end up using the service are financial companies.”
IBM’s blockchain service on Bluemix has already been used by the Japanese Stock Exchange as well as in a project with one of Thailand’s biggest banks which has been using the blockchain and hyperledger technology to handle letters of guarantee used in global shipping.
Numerous other tech startups are also working with in IBM’s fledgling blockchain ecosystem as it stands, such as British company Everledger which uses the technology to authenticate and trace the origin of high-value and luxury goods such as diamonds and wine.
All this comes at a fortuitous time as organisations such as the government are looking at adopting blockchain technology.
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