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. Leveraging blockchain for your IoT data offers new ways to automate business processes among your partners without setting up a complex and expensive centralized IT infrastructure. Blockchain's data protection fosters stronger working relationship with your partners and greater efficiency as partners take advantage of the information provided.
IBM today opened an incubator where 5,000 computer scientists will work to build rapid prototypes using the company's blockchain and Watson AI tools for businesses in the Asian-Pacific region. Called the Watson Centre at Marina Bay in Singapore, the incubator will also house Singapore's IBM Garage, which will specialize in building blockchain applications using the company's Open Standards tools. IBM Asia Pacific's chairman and CEO, Randy Walker, described the operation in a statement: "Watson and blockchain are two technologies that will rapidly change the way we live and work, and our clients in Asia Pacific are eager to lead the way in envisioning and creating that future." The IBM Garage is run as part of the company's Global Entrepreneur program. Launched in 2010, it is intended to help startups build distributed ledger applications using the IBM Cloud.
IBM Watson Health has announced a joint initiative with the US Food and Drug Administration to study the use of blockchain technology to share health data to ultimately improve public health. At first, the two-year collaboration will focus on oncology data, pulling together and exchanging data from a variety of sources including that from clinical trials, genomic data, EMRs, and from miscellaneous Internet of Things data from wearables, apps and connected devices. IBM and the FDA will look at how the technology can facilitate information exchange across a spectrum of data types, including clinical trials and real world data. For example, patient-generated data from connected devices could provide clinicians with more insights into population health, potentially offering up research opportunities and ways to leverage large quantities of data into biomedical and healthcare industries. At the core of the collaboration is blockchain technology, which allows secure data sharing between organizations more freely and has been increasingly favored among industry leaders.
A massive DDOS attack and weaknesses in critical systems have put security concerns front and center in the internet of things. IBM thinks a technology best known from the world of bitcoin could lock down at least one use of IoT. The company is using blockchain technology to ensure that everything's in order with IoT transactions. Just as a public blockchain makes bitcoin transactions traceable and verifiable, the private, cloud-based system that IBM will operate for enterprises will verify non-monetary interactions between some devices. The blockchain offering, part of IBM's Watson IoT Platform, was announced earlier this year.