The new release of the Blockchain Platform Starter Plan by IBM has been announced this week. It is an addition to its product suite, offering special features for users in the early stages of business development.
This new measure recently launched demonstrates the growing commitment of the giant technology company to blockchain technology platforms, in what is considered to be an increasingly competitive space.
Starter Plan To Expand Blockchain Adoption
The IBM Starter Plan was launched as a beta in March. It offers the same experience as the Blockchain Platform Enterprise Plan, which is IBM's main blockchain service offering. The corporation hopes to make it easier and cheaper to set up blockchain applications, which will attract companies that may be curious about the technology but are not yet fully committed to testing the technology.
This plan was launched at the same time as the company published several new service lines on blockchain. The Starter Plan uses the open source Hyperledger Fabric structure and adds new features to the Enterprise Plan, such as one-click network configuration and code samples accessible from GitHub.
All IBM blockchain projects use Hyperledger Fabric. It originated as an open source project developed in 2015 by the Linux Foundation. Last year, IBM released a production version of the project, called Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. It was created from a base code developed by IBM, Digital Asset Holdings and others. And later, Oracle ended up joining the Fabric project.
Competition For Chains
IBM has been a captain of industry in blockchain space for several years now. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that a dozen companies, including Walmart, were creating a blockchain-based system to track the food supply chain using IBM technology.
The company had previously announced that it was working on food supply chains and digital identity with a group of Canadian banks. In March, it was also reported that 63 of its clients were using blockchain in 400 different projects.
For the time being, IBM is also competing against other major companies. One case about this is the German software giant SAP. They recently made several announcements related to blockchain for businesses, including a new enterprise cloud service and a new consortium with several companies. Oracle also took a similar step last May, when it began including Decentralized Applications (dApps).
Microsoft is also selling a blockchain service on its Azure Cloud platform. In addition, it is reported that it already has several financial companies that are testing its technology. Another case is the e-commerce giant Amazon, which also launched a similar service in April. And another case in point is the financial startup of Corda, which is also focusing on the business sector with blockchain technology.
Startups Not Far Behind
Beyond the efforts of the corporate blockchain, there are countless startups working in all existing sectors. While most of these companies are running on hope and moonbeams, it's a little too early to describe them as completely out of the game. Companies like the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, for example, have hundreds of members working on multiple implementations.
There are a lot of new decentralized networks that have recently been officially released or are about to be released; such as the recent cases in last months of EOS, Tezos, TRON, QTUM, and bitcoin sidechains like RSK.
The basic question now is whether startups will be able to offer adoption to larger companies or communities, or whether IBM and other competing giants will be at the forefront of the race with their new offerings.