Blockchain has the potential to transform the way industries conduct business transactions.
This will require a complete ecosystem of industry players working together, allowing businesses to benefit from the network effect of blockchain. To help support these organizations, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today a blockchain ecosystem to help accelerate the creation of blockchain networks.
“The future growth and adoption of blockchain is reliant upon building a strong ecosystem. Business networks will only reach critical mass when innovators, industry experts and infrastructure providers come together in new ways to reinvent how business transactions happen,” said Bridget Van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Industry Platforms. “The growing maturity of the Hyperledger Project code is a major milestone. That’s why IBM is investing to help developers accelerate the creation of blockchain networks by providing an environment where these players can work together.”
The blockchain ecosystem program is designed for innovators looking to build real networks -- venture capitalists (VCs), start-ups, systems integrators (SI), independent software vendors (ISV) and enterprise developers. To support these diverse organizations, IBM will provide education and tools aimed to reduce the time required to go from idea to execution. IBM blockchain professionals will hold “office hours” via the Hyperledger Fabric Slack channel providing support to developers and help with troubleshooting. This is in addition to the courses and learning modules for business users and developers already available on developerWorks. These will be augmented with code libraries, smart contract templates and tools currently in development to speed the creation of blockchain apps.
These programs are designed to support the Linux Foundation Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 and the IBM Blockchain platform which is expected to transform the way blockchain networks transact, opening up new possibilities for development. The Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 will provide a modular approach, much like the network-of-networks model of the Internet.
IBM Blockchain Ecosystem Participants
The IBM blockchain ecosystem is an open environment where organizations can collaborate on shared or complementary technical and business visions using the Hyperledger Fabric, and access education and development support. Because blockchain is a network business, an environment where all interested parties can share tools, information and relationships is critical. Start-ups, ISVs and SIs are investing in blockchain and have embraced the Hyperledger Fabric. Many companies are already joining the IBM blockchain ecosystem, including:
· Cloudsoft is a software company providing multi-cloud application management with open source tools. Cloudsoft Blockchain Service lets developers focus on creating chaincode applications and reduces time to value for enterprises investigating and working with blockchain technologies, such as financial institutions setting-up their own Hyperledger blockchain networks running across multiple geographies.
· EY helps clients leverage blockchain in their business solutions. EY teams of professionals bring cross sector experience and deep industry knowledge of business processes, finance, risk and regulation, cybersecurity, automation, cloud, and analytics to develop and execute on strategies to help our clients address their most challenging business problems.
· Everledger is a UK-based startup that is using IBM Blockchain to authenticate and trace the origin of high-value and luxury goods, such as diamonds and wine that are authenticated by trusted players like certificate houses. Using the IBM High Security Network, the company is able to trace and validate some of the world's most sought-after objects in a secure, tamper-resistant environment.
· Gliding Eagle is a California based company providing a cloud and mobile based technology system offering transparency and authenticity in tracking individual products from the producer to the end consumer, anywhere in the world.
· HACERA adds highly secure Authentication, Authorization and Accounting/Auditing (AAA) services to blockchains. HACERA is focused on regulated institutions that must comply with stringent policies regarding privacy, sensitive data processing and service availability. Built for scalability, HACERA seamlessly protects participants’ identity properties, even when stored across multiple identity systems, using strong cryptography.
· The Hive is a Palo Alto based early-stage fund and venture studio focused on applications of AI and big data with a strong blockchain technology portfolio across FinTech, cyber-security, industrial Internet and compliance. The Hive is actively co-creating ventures within IBM’s blockchain ecosystem by collaborating with entrepreneurs in its high-touch model.
· IntellectEU is an international Fintegration company with experienced Blockchain (Hyperledger and Ethereum) teams in the US and EMEA. IntellectEU is the founding member of Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project and is offering specialized professional services, application development and integration services.
· Loyyal is reinventing how loyalty is created and rewarded. Using blockchain and smart contract technology, Loyyal has created interoperable loyalty and rewards infrastructure to address a highly fragmented industry, and offer multiple sectors an innovative way to incentivize customer behavior.
· Mooti Blockchain Digital Identity provides advanced self-sovereign identity via blockchain technology using its new standard for cryptographic identification and validation. Mooti Digital Identity runs Identity Chains across any blockchain and provides enhanced data privacy and unique features such as time based revocation and ring signature confidential transaction anonymity.
· Netki provides open source/open standards based Digital Identity solutions for worldwide regulatory compliance. Netki is the only solution that works across all blockchains out of the box: users can validate once and use on every blockchain.
· Sensify Security is a Palo Alto based IoT security startup that builds higher resistance to cyber-weapons by enabling operators to enforce access control in a decentralized manner within their operating environments. Its tamper-resistant propagation of security services to gateway-based points of enforcement leverages Hyperledger Fabric, and offers operators centralized control, policy management and compliance.
· Skuchain is a Silicon Valley startup building a blockchain based platform for collaborative commerce called Brackets. Skuchain is demonstrating the potential of verifiable information on Hyperledger Fabric to eliminate supply chain friction in use cases ranging from trade finance, to working capital to item level authenticity.
Blockchain Connect-A-Thon with Hyperledger Fabric v1.0
IBM will host a connect-a-thon on December 17, 2016, using the Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 to set up peers that will operate in a network of networks mode, providing security-rich, confidential transactions among known parties.
IBM is rapidly expanding its blockchain capabilities and actively working with companies to understand what it takes to make blockchain ready for business. Financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare are some of the areas that are poised for dramatic change using blockchain networks.