IBM announced Monday the launch of IBM Blockchain, a commercial service that will provide enterprise companies the ability to build their own blockchain networks on IBM’s cloud platform.
The company also announced the service is already in use or will soon be put to use by a number of businesses including financial service companies and a carbon trading company based in China.
According to IBM, the new service is based on the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, an open-source effort designed to provide a framework for building enterprise-level blockchain networks. It will also be underpinned by LinuxONE, which is regarded as the most secure Linux server.
The company claims its blockchain system will be able to scale up to provide support for a large number of users and will be able to process transactions at a rate of more than 1,000 transactions per second.
"IBM has applied decades of experience running the world's largest transaction systems for banks, airlines, governments and retailers, to build the most secure blockchain services for the enterprise," Marie Wieck the general manager of IBM Blockchain said in a statement.
"IBM's blockchain services are built on IBM's High Security Business Network and designed for organizations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business."
Among the early adopters of IBM’s new technology are authentication provider SecureKey; financial services company Northern Trust; several Canadian banks including the Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion Bank; and carbon trading company Energy-Blockchain Labs.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is often associated with bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that counts on the technology to process and record transactions. Instead of requiring a central server to process all the information, blockchain technology distributes the tasks across a number of computers, using cryptography to ensure the information is secure.
Blockchain transactions don’t require an intermediary to confirm each action as each device on the network has a history of each transaction that has taken place and can verify the legitimacy of the rest of the chain.
The technology has caught the eye of many different industries, including the financial and medical fields. Lawmakers have also taken notice of the technology and have started working on policy framework to help introduce the technology in sound and effective ways.