Growing out of bitcoin

IBM bets big on blockchain, contributes 44,000 lines of code to Hyperledger

Gabriela Motroc

IBM has made almost 44,000 lines of code available to the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project in order to help developers establish secure distributed ledgers which can be used to exchange most anything of value. In addition, it made a range of announcements regarding new blockchain services on the IBM Cloud, IBM Garages and enabling Internet of Things data on blockchain.

Less than two months after revealing that it wishes to create an open-source implementation of the blockchain transaction process model, IBM is releasing almost 44,000 lines of code to jumpstart the initiative called Hyperledger. According to the Linux Foundation, this project is a collaborative effort created to advance blockchain technology by identifying and addressing important features for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers that can transform the way business transactions are conducted globally.

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Senior Vice President of IBM Research, Arvind Krishna, said in a statement that the company’s 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.”  The company also announced that it would open blockchain-centric spaces dubbed IBM Garages in leading financial hubs around the world to enable IBM experts and developers to collaborate on the design and implementation of blockchain for businesses.

IBM also announced a number of new blockchain services on the IBM Cloud and plans to enable Internet of Things data on blockchain via smart contracts that allow devices such as barcode-scan events, RFID-based locations, or device-reported data to be used with its blockchain.

Competition intensifies in the blockchain sector

The company will also offer ‘blockchain as a service’ for developers similar to Microsoft’s blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solution. According to a blog post dated December 15, Microsoft joined forces with Eris Industries, CoinPrism and Factom amid growing demand from financial institutions for services and products which enable them to explore the blockchain offerings and services. The Azure BaaS platform should become a “certified blockchain marketplace,” Microsoft’s director of technology strategy, Marley Gray, told CoinDesk earlier this month.

IBM’s blockchain services are made available through Bluemix. Developers will be able to monitor blockchain applications and design them on the IBM Cloud. The company anticipates that its framework could be used to process other types of transactions such as loans, stock purchases and even non-monetary exchanges at some point. For now, the framework’s real strength comes from the fact that organizations will be able to create custom functionality tailored to their operations requirements thanks to its modular nature.

Over a dozen of the financial services sector’s titans partnered with IBM Corp. to create their own open-source implementation of the blockchain transaction processing model which pumps life into bitcoin. IBM promised to “contribute tens of thousands of lines of its existing codebase and its corresponding intellectual” during the development’s first phases.

“The collaboration is expected to help identify and address important features and currently missing requirements for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers that can transform the way business transactions are conducted around the world,” the official announcement read.

IBM claims that more than 100 technical architects are working towards promoting blockchain applications and technology for businesses. The company’s code represents the joint collaboration of over 35 international IBM researchers and software developers dedicated to the Hyperledger project.

IBM expects to turn its aim -to make blockchain a potent business solution across a number of industries- into reality in ” just a few short months,” Krishna concluded.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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