IBM’s Distributed Ledger Technology Affection is Shining in New ‘Blockchain Anywhere’ Strategy
The blockchain market segment seems to be evolving, with vendors attempting to reach higher diversity and prove interoperability between different implementations of blockchain technology and cloud platforms. The entire blockchain industry seems to be entering a new phase where blockchain platforms can be used in production, and even more importantly — that it can perform better than other technologies.
IBM is a good example of this, as the tech giant wishes to dominate the blockchain industry. The company even invested millions in order to get an early advantage and has even started accelerating its strategy back in 2018. It is now trying to offer its own blockchain platform in cloud environments and enable more advanced capabilities while expanding its reach.
This year's IBM Think has seen blockchain executives pointing out that 100 of their customers' 1,200 blockchain networks are already live, showing that interoperability is more important than ever. Because of this, the company featured a free beta version of its blockchain platform, showing that the next generation of the platform is already here, with the ability to better manage to compute, operate in multi-cloud environments, and work with Kubernetes containers.
The difference from others is clear, as the IBM platform managed to offer highly-valuable services like its console for monitoring networks' activities and managing scaled networks. All of the upgrades and improvements to the platform are designed to fit the customers' requests for a multi-cloud native offering. Further, they also allow the quick and easy addition of new partners, without the need to purchase IBM solutions beforehand.
IBM believes that companies require the size of its platform's APLM (Application Platforms Lifecycle Management) portfolio of security, management, as well as advanced governance solutions. This is deemed necessary in order to address the deployments of the blockchain, which is attracting customers from around the world. Even the platform's programmability is driven further through the use of VSCode.
Connecting The Ecosystems
The market is currently seen as highly-fractured due to the development of distributed ledger platforms, each of which is highly domain-specific, with a closed set of like-minded participants. The development is seemingly continuing down this path, which may lead to the platforms becoming more and more isolated in the future.
This is why IBM decided to announce that it will act as an interoperability node, which may connect different ecosystems, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Hyperledger. As a result, the users of these platforms will have a chance to share transactions between them. It should be noted, however, that this solution does not guarantee immediate and transparent interoperability.
Each of the participating platforms and ecosystems will have to agree to a certain set of policies, rules, standards, as well as governance. All that the vendors are doing is developing means of integration which will preserve the nature of a distributed ledger. Also, vendors have yet to find a way to monetize and sell platforms and solutions based on blockchain technology, even though they are aware of the need for blockchain networks to be scalable.
This is one of the problems that IBM has addressed in its platform's latest version, the one that is currently offered as a free beta. However, the company plans to shift the pricing system to a pay-as-you-go, which is expected to create an incentive for customers to scale their blockchain use as they grow.
Further, it also allows IBM to challenge its rivals in the blockchain industry, and force them to prove that they can keep track.
The network Of Networks
The tech industry is evolving, and is currently entering a new era, one that IBM calls ‘network of networks.' This is basically a time which will be marked by decentralized networks which were promised by the blockchain a long time ago. Of course, the industry has yet to arrive at this point, but IBM that this will eventually be achieved, likely by connecting different networks and improving their compatibility.
There were many similar efforts noted within the space, and so far, they seem quite encouraging, with their ultimate goal being the cooperation of different ecosystems. Of course, interoperability between different blockchain protocols is already possible to an extent, at least at the application level. However, anything beyond that has yet to be achieved, which is what companies like IBM are working on.