Like a BaaS: IBM offers Blockchain as a Service
Maybe you could pay with Bitcoin. Like at Microsoft. Oh wait*
IBM's fortunes are set to change, we're sure of it. After 20 straight quarters of sales decline, the business has launched Blockchain-as-a-Service.
IBM Blockchain is a public cloud service for the building of "tailor-made blockchain solutions" on the IBM Cloud. According to Big Blue, customers could even trade paper using its BaaS, as an insightful video shows.
According to Gartner's hype-cycle, blockchain technology is near the peak of inflated expectations at the moment.
There's no hype at IBM though, which open-sourced a largish hunk of the blockchain code last year via the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project. The company's Marie Wieck, general manager for the new BaaS unit, says it 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".
"IBM's blockchain services are built on IBM's High Security Business Network and designed for organisations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business," she added, although we're not aware of many organisations that "require" blockchain networks.
There are some that do, though, according to IBM. The firm, which recently took the axe to several staffers – although there were quite a few lining up for the chop – is looking after blockchain applications in the cloud for clients including startup Everledger as well as the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Northern Trust.
Based on the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, the BaaS will sit on IBM's "High Security Business Network" which is sold on a number of claims of full-stack security implementations, including secure service containers and tamper-responsive hardware security modules.
IBM Blockchain for Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 is now available through a beta program on IBM Bluemix. Hyperledger Fabric is also available on Docker Hub as IBM-certified image available for download at no cost. If you give it a shot, please let us know your thoughts. ®
* Coin of the realm is no longer accepted there. Redmond's Azure has had its own BaaS since 2015.