IBM (NYSE: IBM) is aiming to help developers embrace blockchain technology for apps and use in digital currency such as bitcoin with a new cloud-based service it says offers a secure development environment.

Raleigh-based Red Hat also recently began offering assistance for blockchain development.

Security is a major concern.

“Working with teams of security experts, cryptographers, hardware experts and researchers, IBM says it has created new cloud services for ‘tamper-resistant, trusted’ blockchain networks,” reported Banking Technology.

IBM stressed that it is offering the “highest” Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2) and Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL), Banking technology noted.

“Clients tell us that one of the inhibitors of the adoption of blockchain is concerns about security,” said Jerry Cuomo, vice president for Blockchain at IBM in a statement.

“While there is a sense of urgency to pioneer blockchain for business, most organizations need help to define the ideal cloud environment that enables blockchain networks to run securely in the cloud.”

As TechCrunch pointed out: “Bitcoin may still be the most famous application of blockchain technology, but the distributed, encrypted database architecture is now being applied to a range of other services, from different kinds of (non Bitcoin) financial transactions …”

IBM also is opening what it calls “Garages” for blockchain development in New York and London with more to follow.

These garages are designed to help clients explore and pursue blockchain development.

Supporters believe blockchain offers a more efficient means of tracking and verifying transactions.

American Banker also noted IBM’s involvement in the so-called Hyperledger product:

“IBM has been collaborating with big names financial services and technology to create a common blockchain fabric on which companies can build their own blockchain applications, like logging transactions between banks and international businesses or allowing the two to share the same record-keeping system. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, State Street, Swift, Cisco, Intel and the Linux Foundation are among them.”

What is blockchain?

IBM’s definition:

“Blockchain is a technology for a new generation of transactional applications that establishes trust, accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes. A blockchain has two main concepts. A business network, where members exchange items of value through a ledger, which each member possesses and whose content is always in sync with the others.

  • Replicated

Entries in the ledger are synchronized to all ledgers in the network. Consensus is used to ensure all ledgers are exact copies.

  • Shared

Permissions ensure that network members can only see items in ledger that you or they are permitted to see. Cryptography is used to protect entries.

  • Transactional

Transactions allow assets to be indelibly entered into the ledger. Business rules provide the logic behind smart contracts.

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