IBM Puts Its Twist on Blockchain With New Security Framework
"A continuing problem with blockchain has been a lack of consensus around appropriate requirements for securely operating cloud-based blockchain networks," King told eWEEK. "Rather than waiting for those to evolve, IBM collaborated with clients, startups and developers to ascertain what requirements were needed, then developed cloud services that met the highest levels of government standards for using blockchain in government, financial services and health care." Indeed, IBM worked with a host of organizations in the blockchain ecosystem to deliver secure cloud services that meet Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2) and Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL) requirements to support the use of blockchain in these environments. The company is also making it easier to use IBM's code based on the Linux Foundation Hyperledger Project in any environment, and providing services on the IBM Bluemix Platform as a Service—which is based on Cloud Foundry. The IBM Cloud blockchain services enable users to build production blockchain networks to be deployed in minutes, running certified Docker images with dashboards and analytics.The Bluemix services make it easy for developers at companies such as Factom to work with IBM Blockchain code, said Paul Snow, chief architect at Factom, in a statement. Factom provides a data layer for blockchain. IBM is building a new Bluemix Garage in New York this month and is working with customers such as BNY Mellon on a blockchain network to trade and transfer assets. "At BNY Mellon, we are actively exploring blockchain's potential to better serve our clients and our company," said Suresh Kumar, CIO of BNY Mellon, in a statement. "With this new initiative, IBM is providing an environment that will allow companies like us to collaborate more easily and more securely and in a more standardized way, which is critical to advancing meaningful use cases for blockchain." Cuomo said IBM's new services help organizations overcome one of the key inhibitors of the adoption of blockchain—the concern about security. "Many other vendors obviously have interests in developing such solutions, but it's difficult to think of another company that could move as quickly and decisively as IBM to make secure blockchain solutions available for its customers, partners and developer communities," King said. IBM recently co-sponsored a Consensus Building Blocks Hackathon 2016, where developers used IBM's blockchain service on Bluemix to build applications incorporating services such as IBM Watson, IBM Internet of Things, The Weather Channel Data and others. "Blockchain is a highly innovative and promising technology. However, there are a lot of issues to be solved for enterprise systems," said Eiji Ueki, director and executive vice president of NTT DATA, in a statement. "IBM's new blockchain cloud service is directly trying to address those issues. We believe this will help accelerate the maturation of blockchain technology."
Moreover, the beta release of the IBM Blockchain on Bluemix service provides access to the Linux Hyperledger code. A distribution of IBM's code submission to the Hyperledger project also is available on Docker Hub.