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IBM Fires Blockchain into the Cloud and into the Hands of Developers

The popular Blockchain ledger has just been infused with new possibilities by IBM’s efforts to bring Blockchain to the cloud. By releasing its own Blockchain platform that relies on open source technology to be used for B2B transactions as a service, Blockchain has just received a plethora of new use case scenarios. Open Blockchain is now part of Hyperledger’s first incubation project, Fabric.

Open Blockchain is IBM’s open source contribution to the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, a collaborative effort to create a blockchain for business and IBM is inviting developers to join the Hyperledger Project community and be a part of this exciting emerging technology.


Open Blockchain (OBC) is a ledger of digital events, called transactions, shared among different participants, each having a stake in the system. The ledger can only be updated by consensus of the participants, and, once recorded, information can never be altered. Each recorded event is cryptographically verifiable with proof of agreement from the participants.

From a technical standpoint, OBC is a fabric architecture that allows businesses to harness the power of cryptographically secure, immutable (append-only), distributed and peer-to-peer databases. These are commonly known as “blockchains,” pioneered by the Bitcoin and Ethereum communities.

OBC extends traditional blockchain technologies by incorporating:

  • Logic (chain code): Chain code extends traditional smart-contracts, broadly defined as self-executing agreements written in code that may be interacted with and may trigger other smart-contracts, but with further capabilities. Chain-code is executed in sandboxed Docker containers, and may interact with other hlp-fabric-golang networks or the outside world. More importantly, chain-code is immutable, may retain state, and inherits confidentiality/privacy.
  • Variable Confidentiality: Networks can limit who can view or interact at different levels of the environment. Individual transactions can even impose their own confidentiality rules.
  • Verifiable Identification: While the network can set identity obfuscation, it is possible to have 100% anonymous peers whose identity is also provable and unique with secure cryptographic techniques. If the users of a network grant permission, an auditor will be able to de-anonymize users and their transactions. This is useful for regulatory inspections and analysis.
  • Private Transactions: The details of a transaction, including but not limited to chain-code, peers, assets, and volumes are encrypted. This eliminates any pattern recognition or leaked private information to non-authorized actors on the network. Only specified actors can decrypt, view and interact/execute (with chain-code).
  • Customizable Consensus Protocols: The fabric will easily operate with almost any consensus mechanism (for example, proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, etc.). This customizable architectural design makes OBC applicable to more applications.

Learn more about IBM’s Blockchain:


Richard Kastelein
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands where he has set down his anchor to raise a family and write. Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015) and director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published in Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat, Wired, The Guardian and a number of other publications. Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute software and Technology. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ cities.
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