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IBM Launches Low-Cost Platform for Startups to Create Blockchain Projects

Originally published on: CoinSpeaker
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March 22, 2018

With the new IBM Blockchain Platform Starter Plan, smaller scale businesses can quickly learn, build and try out their own blockchain network in an environment designed for development and testing.

According to their live stream, IBM’s relationship with blockchain technology stemmed from its initial release back in a far 2015 when it only appeared to be a mysterious web phenomenon. From that time the company, unlikely a vast majority involved into Bitcoin Rush, was focusing primary on the disruptive digital ledger instead of altcoins it underpins.

On the early stages of blockchain development, IBM was intuitive enough to forecast the bright future behind it and made huge strides towards the all-important real world application of blockchain technology.

Reportedly in 2016, the company already began testing blockchain technology “on themselves”, using Blockchain in their financial services business to “optimize reconciliations from vendors to suppliers.”

Today American multinational tech company still successfully manages to keep up with technological progress whereas the other day it announced the world’s smallest computer is to run on blockchain technology and eventually the company is going to embed it in everyday objects and devices.

However IBM never stops from surprising its customers. Earlier this week on its blog-post the company unveiled a new blockchain product that lets start-ups and developers build their own distributed ledger projects.

IBM Blockchain Starter Plan, currently available free in beta testing mode, is a cheaper alternative to Big Blue’s current enterprise plan for firms looking to develop blockchain applications that will help them effortlessly operate and govern networks on the IBM blockchain platform. By now IBM hasn’t disclosed what it would charge for the plan once commercially released, saying only that it will be “low-cost”.

Speaking to CNBC Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain,  described IBM Blockchain Starter Plan:

“The new plan is perfect for pilot projects and early stage development work for those who want to build solutions on the IBM blockchain platform which currently has over 250 active blockchain networks. Our expertise in building and scaling networks is invaluable and will be shared across a wide ecosystem.”

The tech giant also mentioned the launch of its new services aimed at helping firms explore and commercialize their own blockchain applications.

General Manager of IBM Blockchain Services, Jason Kelley, commented on the ongoing updates:

“Today’s new services we are announcing will provide the right consulting expertise and technologies to support the adoption of blockchain throughout the maturity of the network including blockchain starter services, blockchain acceleration services, and blockchain innovation services.”

Notably that IBM’s blockchain platform differs from the Bitcoin-backed public networks, as it only allows a certain number of trusted parties to access it rather than a sizeable population in case of public blockchain platforms. This type of blockchain is known as “permissioned.”

Last year, the company collaborated with blockchain start-up Stellar and currency exchange service KlickEx in order to jointly develop a platform that allows banks to streamline payments and rapidly clear settlements. As part of the partnership, IBM is using Stellar’s digital token, lumens, as a “bridge to speed real time clearing and settlement”.

Suggested regulations pertaining to anti-money laundering and the idea of digital currencies supported by government that fuel a lot of fears and anxiety among the cryptocurrency community, IBM has treated more like an opportunity to further development of their blockchain-based project in less competitive environment, since financial analysts expect the business value of blockchain to grow drastically up to $176 billion by 2025.

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