IBM today announced a new framework for securely operating blockchain networks, as well as new services on the IBM Cloud that meet stringent regulatory and security requirements. According to the company, IBM has created essential new cloud services for tamper-proof, trusted blockchain networks.
"Clients tell us that one of the inhibitors of the adoption of blockchain is concerns about security," said Jerry Cuomo, vice president of Blockchain, IBM. "While there is a sense of urgency to pioneer blockchain for business, most organizations need help to define the ideal cloud environment that enables blockchain networks to run securely in the cloud."
IBM is launching several initiatives to address the security needs of clients, startups, and developers, including cloud services with the highest Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 and Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) in the industry to support the use of blockchain technology in government, financial services and healthcare.
"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. "IBM’s new blockchain cloud service is directly trying to address those issues. We believe this will help accelerate the maturation of blockchain technology."
IBM is offering new cloud services to help businesses quickly host secure, tamper-resistant networks and scale to thousands of users, including tamper-resistant storage of crypto keys and services to enable blockchain peers to run in protected environments to prevent leaks through shared memory or hardware. According to the company, the new cloud services achieve the ideal criteria for cloud-based blockchain networks by providing an auditable operating environment with comprehensive log data that supports forensics and compliance.
"When considering a cloud environment for a blockchain network or in a regulated industry, organizations must ask the right questions because not all cloud environments are equally secure," Cuomo told Bitcoin Magazine. "A trusted cloud environment is critical to many industry compliance requirements. To address this, IBM is launching new blockchain services on the IBM Cloud that can help organizations in industries such as banking, healthcare and government.”
IBM is a premier member of Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, a collaborative effort started in December to establish, build and sustain an open, distributed ledger platform that will satisfy a variety of use cases across multiple industries. "The Linux Foundation believes a shared infrastructure that is open to critical inspection and collaboration will be pivotal in driving global adoption of blockchain for distributed ledgers," Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin told Bitcoin Magazine in an interview.
In February, Bitcoin Magazine reported that IBM is making tens of thousands of lines of code available to the Hyperledger Project to help developers easily build secure distributed ledgers that can be used to exchange most anything of value. IBM is persuaded that Hyperledger could make blockchain-based services faster, more scalable and easier to use, and expects Hyperledger software to provide special advantages for owners of IBM hardware.
Now, IBM intends to make it easier to use IBM’s code based on the Hyperledger Project in any environment, including its cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) Bluemix, and is offering Bluemix services to help developers quickly build applications. For application developers who want to get a blockchain environment running almost instantly and start building applications, the beta release of IBM’s blockchain on Bluemix provides access to the very latest Linux Hyperledger code, updated as the code continues to emerge.
“Bluemix Services make it easy for Factom developers to work with IBM blockchain code,” said Paul Snow, chief architect of Factom. "IBM is the single largest contributor to open source technology, and the Internet would not be what it is today without their contributions. Exploring blockchain technology with IBM is exciting, and our approaches are complementary. We are thrilled to see how they will help grow the industry."
For organizations that need the flexibility to run blockchains on different cloud servers or devices, a signed, certified distribution of IBM’s code submission to the Hyperledger project is now available on Docker Hub, a cloud-based registry service for building and shipping application or service containers. Ongoing updates will provide new features, including dashboards, analytics, chat support and exclusive network services.