Blockchain announcements

Introducing the next-gen platform for enterprise blockchain

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As the market matures, new use cases emerge, and companies set their sights on scaling, one thing has become clear: the value of blockchain networks increases with the addition of diverse industry members. As these diverse networks drive innovation and expand, we expect to see the emergence of a thriving blockchain economy.

However, diverse networks can also add complexity. In today’s hybrid and multicloud world, organizations run both on-premises and in distributed cloud environments. Organizations today leverage cloud services from five to 16 cloud vendors.

So, how do you tackle this complexity while delivering solutions that meet the needs of today’s distributed enterprises? For two years, IBM has been the leader of the enterprise blockchain market, enabling hundreds of companies across industries to build solutions, convene networks, and rapidly move into production on the IBM Blockchain Platform. And now, it’s time for those networks to grow anywhere. IBM’s vision is a fully-flexible blockchain platform, built around a well-managed open source distributed ledger technology, that can truly run in virtually any computing infrastructure. Today we make this vision a reality with the announcement of the next generation of the IBM Blockchain Platform.

Learn more about blockchain today

Take it from some of our clients, like the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS), an organization already hard at work building an ambitious industry-wide network meant to consolidate, share, and analyze data from the top players in the risk and insurance field:

“We’ve spent more than a year working with the IBM Blockchain Platform to transform the insurance industry, and we are looking forward to taking this work even further with the new capabilities of the platform. The network management tools are way ahead of competitors’ offerings, and a critical aspect of what we do.” – Joan Zerkovich, Senior Vice President Operations, AAIS

Clients can now benefit from the next generation of the IBM Blockchain Platform which has been rearchitected to support deployments via Kubernetes. This means you can now deploy the IBM Blockchain Platform on the infrastructure of your choosing. Deploy to public clouds like IBM Cloud, AWS, and Azure, or deploy on-premises in private clouds with secure infrastructures like LinuxONE. This hybrid and multicloud approach will allow blockchain networks to work effectively across multiple environments. In fact, at Think 2019 and Consensus 2019, we stood on stage with Microsoft to demonstrate those capabilities. We showed the world not only how The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric peers deployed in the IBM Cloud and Azure Cloud can interoperate and transact effectively, but also how blockchain brings us together. I’ve always said, “blockchain is a team sport,” and those were never empty words. Blockchain requires unprecedented collaboration and cooperation, and IBM and Microsoft, on stage, side by side, is a great example.

The next generation of the IBM Blockchain Platform is now generally available. Multicloud and other advanced capabilities have been built into the platform, based from learnings from hundreds of blockchain client engagements across every industry. This next generation builds on IBM’s commitment to promoting open technologies to accelerate innovation and adoption.

These clients aren’t just exploring and testing, they are tackling vexing industry problems head-on and putting real solutions into production. Vertrax, a leading provider of supply chain management solutions to the oil and gas industry, has built a blockchain solution designed to address the biggest problem in the market, which is visibility into a complex supply chain with many participants.

Vertrax selected IBM as their blockchain partner and has successfully deployed their production solution using the IBM Blockchain Platform on AWS. Vertrax, like many companies, has a tight knit relationship with their cloud vendor of choice. At the same time, they knew they needed a blockchain platform that was specifically designed for business needs, with security and privacy top of mind. “IBM was a no-brainer,” says Vinny Mullineux, CEO of Vertrax. “We needed something that would work on AWS, but we also needed a mature, secure, business-oriented blockchain platform. That eliminated Ethereum and we knew we had to use something built on Hyperledger Fabric. The IBM Blockchain Platform is the only thing that made sense.”

In addition to running your blockchain components in the environments of your choosing, this next generation of the IBM Blockchain Platform has a host of new and augmented capabilities that allow you to manage the entire lifecycle of your blockchain network — making it even easier to build, operate and grow.

Build your blockchain network seamlessly

“Hyperledger Fabric, and blockchains in general, are complicated systems,” notes Andrew Pinkham, VP of Engineering at True Tickets, a company building verifiable and trackable ticketing solutions with the IBM Blockchain Platform. We couldn’t agree more. While we commend anyone who is up to the challenge of building a blockchain network at the protocol layer, it was important to us to deliver a platform that made building easy, with tools like the new IBM Blockchain Platform Extension for Visual Studio (VS) Code. The extension helps users integrate their smart contract development and network management functions more seamlessly. Developers can now easily move from development to test to production from a single console. Included within the extension are code samples and tutorials, enabling any developer to easily become a blockchain developer. The IBM Blockchain Platform meets developers where they are, offering support for smart contracts to be written in JavaScript, Java, and Go languages.

“Having a platform where you can interact with individual components in a well-designed interface is a huge time saver. We’re excited by the new user experience in the IBM Blockchain Platform. Plus, you can interact via the VS Code extension, which makes deploying smart contracts simple and straightforward.” – Andrew Pinkham, VP of Engineering, True Tickets

Operate and govern blockchain networks with choice and control

We understand that not all participants in a blockchain network will have the same requirements; therefore, the next generation of the IBM Blockchain Platform gives users the flexibility to deploy only the blockchain components you need, where and when you need them. Whether it’s just a peer, ordering service, or certificate authority, users can manage these components all in one place. You also maintain complete control of your identities, ledger, and smart contracts featuring the industry’s first “team-based” network management.

Grow blockchain networks with multi-network, multicloud and cost flexibility

IBM strives not only to help clients build their own blockchain networks but to help them participate in and benefit from existing ones. The new IBM Blockchain Platform allows an organization to easily connect a single peer to multiple industry networks. This, combined with the ability to deploy network components in any environment, will accelerate the phenomenon we like to call the network of networks. Additionally, the platform features a new pricing model that allows you to start small and pay as you grow, pay for only what you need, and maintain full control over total cost of network ownership. Trailblazing companies like Mediaocean are building networks with brand new business models within their industries, bringing together many participants with a diverse set of needs and environments:

“We’re not just dabbling with blockchain — we have already spent months running real production transactions. We are looking forward to entering the second major phase of our network growth as we upgrade to the new version of the IBM Blockchain Platform, which has the enhanced functionality, ability to scale, and multicloud capability.” – Vedant Sampath, CTO Mediaocean

We will walk with you on your blockchain journey

Getting started on your blockchain journey can be overwhelming. However, with leading minds and proven methodologies we can start this journey with you through our IBM Blockchain Garage Services. Leveraging the IBM Garage Method at locations around the world, our top designers, developers and architects can work side-by-side with you to transform ideas on paper into blockchain solutions that deliver tangible business results. We’ll help you tackle the business problems you’re looking to solve, establish the culture of collaboration that’s critical in blockchain, understand how blockchain can combine with other emerging technologies, build minimal viable products (MVPs), progress to production deployment and much more.

Through our partnerships, solutions and services, we continue to lay the groundwork for widespread adoption of enterprise blockchain.

“We see IBM as a leader and strategic partner in the development of tools and products in the blockchain space.” – Ted Kim, Vice President, Blockchain Team, Samsung SDS America

The next generation of the IBM Blockchain Platform is here, it’s live, and it is poised to help you build, operate, and grow blockchain networks.

Deploy the IBM Blockchain Platform across multiple environments

IBM Fellow, Vice President Blockchain Technologies, IBM Blockchain

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