IBM launches enterprise-ready blockchain service

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By Anna Irrera | NEW YORK

NEW YORK International Business Machines Corp has launched a service that will allow businesses to
build applications on its cloud using blockchain code from the
Hyperledger Project, the cross-industry group led by the Linux
Foundation.

The U.S. technology company said on Monday its new product
called IBM Blockchain was the first service for developers to
build enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the
first code set to be released by the open source group.

The Fabric blockchain can process more than 1,000
transactions per second and has the necessary features to be
used by large enterprises to build their applications, IBM said.

It added it was working with technology company SecureKey
Technologies and a group of Canadian banks to build a digital
identity network using its new blockchain services.

The network, set for launch later this year, is aimed at
making it easier for consumers to prove their identities when
accessing services such as new bank accounts, driver’s licenses
or utilities. Banks involved include Bank of Montreal,
Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia,
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion
Bank.

Blockchain, which emerged as the system running
cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a digital shared record of
transactions that is maintained by a network of computers on the
internet, without the need of a centralized authority.

Big businesses, including many of the world’s largest banks,
have been increasing their investment in the technology in hopes
it can help them reduce the complexity and costs of some of
their most burdensome processes, such as the settlement of
securities or international payments.

Technology companies and professional services firms have
also been ramping up their investment in blockchain, as they
race to capture the nascent market.

IBM has been one of the most aggressive large technology
companies on blockchain and has several large clients developing
applications with the technology, including Northern Trust Corp
, Wal-Mart Stores Inc and the Depository Trust &
Clearing Corporation.

IBM said it had also tested a blockchain-based asset
management platform for carbon assets with Chinese company
Energy-Blockchain Labs. The companies aim to release the
platform, built using the new IBM Blockchain, later this year.

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