What is blockchain for business?

Blockchain for business is built on a shared, immutable ledger that is permissioned to increase efficiency among trusted partners

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How does blockchain work for business?

Blockchain for business is valuable for entities transacting with one another. With distributed ledger technology, permissioned participants can access the same information at the same time to improve efficiency, build trust and remove friction. Blockchain also allows a solution to rapidly size and scale, and many solutions can be adapted to perform multiple tasks across industries. Blockchain for business delivers these benefits based on four attributes unique to the technology:

Consensus: Shared ledgers are updated only after the transaction is validated by all relevant participants involved.

Replication: Once a block — the record of an event — is approved, it is automatically created across the ledgers for all participants in that channel. Every network partner sees and shares a single “trusted reality” of the transactions.

Immutability: More blocks can be added, but not removed, so there is a permanent record of every transaction, which increases trust among the stakeholders.

Security: Only authorized entities are allowed to create blocks and access them. Only trusted partners are given access permission.

Learn how blockchain can transform your business
Business leaders will see how blockchain can help build more efficient processes and new financial models. This practical guide includes industry-specific use cases and insights. Preview at no cost and save 50% on the full download or print edition.

Applications of blockchain for business

Across industries around the world, blockchain is helping transform business. Greater trust leads to greater efficiency by eliminating duplication of effort. Blockchain is revolutionizing the supply chain, food distribution, financial services, government, retail, and more.

Blockchain ensures safer food

We all eat – and we’ve all had second thoughts about food safety or freshness. What if we could replace those doubts with visibility into every step from farm to fork? Many companies are now doing just that, sharing and using data from IBM Food Trust™, built on the IBM Blockchain Platform.

Discover how growers, processors, distributors, and retailers are making food safer, lengthening shelf lives, reducing waste, and unlocking better access to shared, secure information that impacts us all.

Blockchain tracks every step in shipping

Think of everything you’ve used today. How did it get here? Today’s supply chain is a complex network of relationships, scheduling, systems and data. Even the smallest error can lead to delays that have tremendous ripple effects.

By digitizing and automating paperwork across supply chains, IBM Blockchain helps shippers, ports, customs services, logistics providers, banks, insurers, and others better manage documents across organizations and borders – all in real time and with absolute precision.

Blockchain spreads trust everywhere

Whether it’s between people or organizations, relationships flourish when there’s more trust. From jewelry to insurance to food, IBM Blockchain can elevate that trust to an entirely new level by helping parties transacting together validate and share immutable transaction records on a private, distributed ledger.

This shared record of truth leads to everything from less paperwork and fewer disputes, to happier customers and entirely new ways of doing business.

Use cases

Learn how innovators in a variety of industries are transforming their businesses through use cases built on the IBM Blockchain Platform.

Vertrax: Igniting success in a multicloud deployment

The oil and gas supply chain is a complex interplay of coordination and competition. But extreme weather and other unexpected events can wreak havoc, and the entire supply chain suffers. The Vertrax Blockchain – built on the IBM Blockchain Platform and deployed on AWS for multicloud users – brings new insights into those events for quicker responses.

we.trade: Making cross-border trade easier with blockchain

Collectively, small and medium-size enterprises are a dynamic economic force. Individually, they struggle to secure the trade financing they need to grow with their banks stretched too thin to service their needs. With we.trade, Europe's leading banks now use blockchain efficiency to reduce much of the cost and risk associated with SME trade finance requests.

Golden State Foods: A taste for collaboration

As food travels through the supply chain, how can anyone really be sure of its exact condition? By using blockchain, IoT and cognitive analytics, Golden State Foods CTO Guilda Javaheri and her team are giving quick-serve restaurants unparalleled visibility into food's journey to the customer, every step of the way.

Related solutions

Blockchain platform

The award-winning IBM Blockchain Platform provides the most complete set of blockchain software, services, tools and sample code available for Hyperledger Fabric. It’s everything you need to create, test, govern and manage a working blockchain network in a variety of cloud environments.

Blockchain consulting

We have over 500 client engagements, and more than 1,600 technical and industry experts. Find out why IBM Blockchain Services is the top-ranked services provider throughout your blockchain journey.

Blockchain for food supply

IBM Food Trust is the only network of its kind to connect participants across the food supply through a permissioned, permanent and shared record of food system data. You can increase food safety, gain new efficiencies, and contribute to your bottom line.


TradeLens helps oversee container logistics worldwide, with more than 150 exporters, importers, freight forwarders, and customs authorities around the world now working collaboratively on an open and neutral supply chain platform.