IBM helps developers speed up the creation of blockchain networks
Female fallow deer gives her fawn a helping hand image via Shutterstock
IBM is actively trying to lure developers into the blockchain world. The giant believes that blockchain “has the potential to transform the way industries conduct business transactions” but that can only happen if industry players work together and allow businesses to benefit from the network effect of this technology.
According to a recent report by Research and Markets, the blockchain technology market is skyrocketing: it estimates that the market will grow from $210.2 million in 2016 to $2,312.5 million by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 61.5 percent. Although the author acknowledges that “actors such as lack of awareness about the blockchain technology and uncertain regulatory status are the major restraints in the overall growth of the market,” the HyperLedger Project is working hard to take blockchain to the next level and help it go mainstream.
However, for this to happen, the growing blockchain ecosystem needs to hit a major milestone: convince developers that blockchain is worth their attention. As Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of the Hyperledger Project told JAXenter a few months ago, “it’s up to the developers how soon blockchain goes mainstream.”
This is where IBM comes into play: the tech giant is developing a blockchain-based ecosystem. To convince developers, startups and enterprises to take a second look at this technology and reduce the time required to go from idea to execution, the company has promised to offer the necessary education and tools. As a result, “IBM blockchain professionals will hold ‘office hours’ via the Hyperledger Fabric Slack channel providing support to developers and help with troubleshooting. This is in addition to the courses and learning modules for business users and developers already available on developerWorks. These will be augmented with code libraries, smart contract templates and tools currently in development to speed the creation of blockchain apps.”
These programs are designed to support the Linux Foundation Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 and the IBM Blockchain platform.
Bridget Van Kralingen, senior vice president at IBM Industry Platforms, said in an official statement that “the future growth and adoption of blockchain is reliant upon building a strong ecosystem. Business networks will only reach critical mass when innovators, industry experts and infrastructure providers come together in new ways to reinvent how business transactions happen.”
The growing maturity of the Hyperledger Project code is a major milestone. That’s why IBM is investing to help developers accelerate the creation of blockchain networks by providing an environment where these players can work together.
What’s in it for me?
Despite the fact that blockchain is now in the spotlight, there is something that clouds its ascension: there aren’t enough blockchain developers to make it truly successful. The Wall Street Journal warned that companies which want to hire blockchain developers may have to find new ways to lure them because they are being showered with offers. The publication cited Bart Cant, a principal in Capgemini’s financial services practice, as saying that he’s heard people say there are probably less than 100 blockchain experts globally.
Although Mr. Behlendorf is confident that the number of blockchain developers is growing, one of the main obstacles is the lack of knowledge; developers must fully understand this technology in order to be proactive. As senior Vice President of IBM Research, Arvind Krishna, said in a statement earlier this year, 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.”
IBM is now developing a blockchain-based ecosystem and will offer the necessary tools and education to reduce the time required to go from idea to execution and to lure more developers into the growing world of blockchain.