How does blockchain work?

Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions. It fosters a new generation of transactional applications that establish trust, accountability and transparency.

IBM Blockchain has joined The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project to evolve and improve upon earlier forms of blockchain. Instead of having a blockchain that is reliant on the exchange of cryptocurrencies with anonymous users on a public network (e.g. Bitcoin), a blockchain for business provides a permissioned network, with known identities, without the need for cryptocurrencies.

What is the difference between Bitcoin and blockchain?

Explore the key differences between blockchain and bitcoin, the online digital cryptocurrency that simplified online transactions by bypassing government control of currency exchange.

Read the blog Infographic: What's the difference? (8.4 MB)

Applying blockchain across industries and professions

Blockchain shows great promise across a wide range of business applications

For example, financial institutions can settle securities in minutes instead of days. Manufacturers can reduce product recalls by sharing production logs with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and regulators. Businesses of all types can more closely manage the flow of goods and related payments with greater speed and less risk.

  • Finance
  • Banking
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Manufacturing
  • Insurance
  • Retail
  • Legal
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Supply Chain and Logistics
  • Finance and Accounting

Making blockchain
ready for business

Increase trust, accountability,
and transparency across your
business networks

Hyperledger Fabric and IBM Blockchain

Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. Intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture, Hyperledger Fabric allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. Hyperledger Fabric leverages container technology to host smart contracts called “chaincode” that comprise the application logic of the system. Hyperledger Fabric was initially contributed by Digital Asset and IBM.

Take blockchain courses Learn more

IBM Bluemix Garage for blockchain

Accelerate the design and development of your blockchain applications in one of our many global locations – or your premises

Step 1
Conversation and demonstration

Talk about what blockchain can – and can't – do for you and see how Hyperledger fabric works

Step 2
Technology hands-on

Interactive workshop with guided lab exercises and deeper dive on your scenarios

Step 3
First project

Start with IBM Design Thinking workshop and move into agile development, working with IBM

Over the past two decades, the Internet has revolutionized many aspects of business and society–making individuals and organizations more productive. Yet the basic mechanics of how people and organizations execute transactions with one another have not been updated for the 21st century. Blockchain could bring to those processes the openness and efficiency we have come to expect in the Internet Era.

— Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research

Three core principles of blockchain

IBM collaborates to build blockchain networks for real businesses

Next Steps

Contact an expert

Talk about the possibilities of what IBM Blockchain can do for your business.

Get started with development

Start an IBM Blockchain network and build applications that can take advantage of its capabilities.