IBM's framework considers industry standards such as Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2), Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL), Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Gramm Leach Bliley Act, Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), and the European Union Protection Directive so that government, financial services, and health care organizations can securely build and use blockchain networks.
The company is also expanding blockchain services on the Bluemix app development platform to give organizations the necessary tools to quickly get started developing and testing blockchain applications. Organizations don't need to be experts in how blockchain technology works since IBM will take care of running them, freeing up developers to focus on developing their own applications.
IBM Blockchain on Bluemix gives developers access to the very latest Linux Hyperledger code. IBM Blockchain for Hyperledger is also available on DockerHub, letting organizations run a signed, certified distribution of the blockchain project on different cloud servers and devices.
Organizations also are not sure how to set up secure blockchain networks. IBM takes care of that. It will allow production blockchain networks to be deployed in minutes, running signed, certified, and tested Docker images with dashboards and analytics as well as support. IBM will also provide support and consulting services for anyone looking for help with blockchain.
IBM has made other big moves in blockchain recently. As one of the founding members of the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project, an open source initiative to standardize blockchain tools, the company donated 44,000 lines of code to the project. It has also invested in several startups building blockchain-based services.
Big Blue isn't the only company looking at ways to enhance its cloud offerings with blockchain-based services. Microsoft has been quietly adding multiple blockchain-as-a-service offerings to the Azure marketplace. Microsoft has a partnership with a consortium of more than 40 banks, including the likes of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, granting them open access to Azure and dedicated staff from Microsoft to build blockchain applications. The company has also worked with Ripple, a cryptographic ledger software vendor, and other startups to develop new blockchain applications.
IBM will expand its work on blockchain through new IBM Garages in New York, Tokyo, Singapore, and London, which are focused research labs and will help clients design and develop blockchain networks. BNY Mellon, a global financial institution based in New York, is one such customer.
"With this new initiative, IBM is providing an environment that will allow companies like us to collaborate more easily and more securely and in a more standardized way, which is critical to advancing meaningful use cases for blockchain," said Suresh Kumar, CIO of BNY Mellon.
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