IBM is getting into the blockchain game, announcing Friday (Dec. 9) it launched a blockchain ecosystem aimed at accelerating the creation of blockchain networks.
In a press release, IBM touted blockchain, saying it has the potential to transform the way all sorts of industries conduct business transactions. In order for it to take off, IBM contends there needs to be a complete ecosystem of industrial players all working together.
“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 of IBM Industry Platforms, in the press release. “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.”
According to IBM, the blockchain ecosystem program is geared toward innovators that are looking to build real networks. Those include venture capitalists, startups, systems integrators, independent software vendors and enterprise developers. To support the innovations, IBM said it will provide education and tools to reduce the time required to go from idea to actual product or service. IBM blockchain professionals will be able to help via the Hyperledger Fabric Slack channel, providing support to developers and helping them troubleshoot problems. There will also be courses and learning modules for business users and developers.
In conjunction with its announcement, IBM unveiled some of the participants in the blockchain ecosystem, including Loyyal, which IBM said is reinventing how loyalty is created and rewarded. Using blockchain and smart contract technology, Loyyal has created a loyalty and rewards infrastructure to address a highly fragmented industry. IBM said Loyyal offers multiple sectors an innovative way to incentivize customer behavior.
“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,” IBM stated in the press release. “The Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 will provide a modular approach, much like the network-of-networks model of the internet.”