Introducing IBM Blockchain Platform 2.5: Helping advance the new era of multi-party systems

By Andy Carelli, Director, Blockchain Platform – Offering Management and Market Development, IBM



New collaboration models are emerging out of necessity today and for better preparedness tomorrow. It’s evidenced in the way supply chains are changing to provide better visibility for the distribution of emergency supplies. We see the need for public and private information to be validated and shared between healthcare institutes and government authorities to support humanitarian efforts. These applied areas are examples of how innovation is being given a chance to prevail over traditional approaches. For blockchain enthusiasts, it’s an exciting opportunity to challenge the status quo and shift to multi-party systems.

In just the last few months, we have seen a number of new conventional and unconventional use cases that illustrate how organizations overcoming old and new challenges by leveraging an enterprise distributed ledger technology. These include IBM Rapid Supplier Connect, a solution that helps medical organizations quickly find alternative suppliers, to an FDA pilot to create a blockchain-based pharmaceutical supply chain. Blockchain initiatives are transforming supply chains, giving developers access to reliable, more trustworthy dataand identifying entirely new uses cases on their own.

New Era of Multi-Party Systems

We’re on the cusp a new era of multi-party systems. Multi-party networks, spanning across industries, are leveraging the clear advantages of real-time, trusted, tamper-proof data exchange. Businesses, industry experts, regulators, and people are leveraging new collaboration models to share and record data in a way that preserves both privacy and transparency, and ensures the validity of transactions. This technology is providing the basis for unprecedented levels of trust to support shared processes, and instilling confidence in a validated source of truth to support decision-making. Transparency under privacy controls forms the basis of a more effective business network.

At IBM, we are committed to delivering the most advanced and comprehensive tools, technologies, and infrastructure within our IBM Blockchain Platform to help advance powerful multi-party systems.

Introducing IBM Blockchain Platform 2.5

Today, we are excited to announce the release of IBM Blockchain Platform version 2.5, which improves on IBM Blockchain Platform version 2 in a number of ways. These include supporting the latest open source innovation with Hyperledger Fabric 2.0and delivers new integrations with Red Hat technologies. It boosts security, usability, flexibility, and development speedwith support for Hyperledger Fabric 2.0, Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, Red Hat OpenShift 4.3, and Ansible Content Collections. This release delivers upon aspects of the advancements we highlighted at our digital IBM THINK conference in May.

Register for our weekly User Series webcast to see a live demonstration of some of these new features and get your questions answered by the experts!

About IBM Blockchain Platform

Begin or advance your efforts in enabling multi-party systems powered by the leading automation and governance platform for Hyperledger Fabric.

IBM Blockchian Platformis available as a managed service offering on IBM Cloud

and as a multicloud offering that can deployed in any environment – private, public or hybrid multicloud, or on-premises behind your firewall to meet data residency requirements.

Tourour offering and learn more onhow to get started with IBM Blockchain.

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Blockchain Platform We.Trade Reportedly Slashes Workforce by Half

Owing to ongoing financial difficulties, the IBM Hyperledger-powered trade finance blockchain platform we.trade is laying off almost half of its workforce.

According to a Global Trade Review report, “more than a dozen employees” were laid off and most of them belonged to the commercial and product-focused verticals of the company.

We.trade was jointly owned and funded by 12 influential banks and financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Rabobank, Santander and Société Générale. Less than a month ago, IBM bought a 7% stake in the company, which, we.trade said, would help it scale its business globally.

We.trade has had quite a few achievements in bringing banks to use blockchain technology, as was reported by Cointelegraph. In August 2019, HSBC became the first bank to settle a transaction via Hyperledger on the we.trade platform. Earlier this year, a major Spanish bank CaixaBank also started providing we.trade platform’s service to its 15.8 million customers to make transactions more traceable and secure.

Living through the crisis

According to Global Trade Review, we.trade’s financial woes began after their last round’s fundings fell short of the expected amount as many shareholder banks withdrew their interest to reinvest in the company.

We.trade is now looking for alternative investments from other shareholders and licensees as it continues operation with a reduced workforce. The head of commercialization at we.trade, David McLoughlin, explained:

“As an early-stage company, it is critical that we remain agile and manage our resource needs as effectively as possible – in order to ensure the continued resilience of the company.”

Highlighting the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on potential investments, McLoughlin said that the pandemic, rather than clogging business activities, has actually catalyzed it. The “digitization of trade and trade finance is now no longer a luxury, but a must,” he added.

We.trade did not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

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Cisco Small Business RV Series Routers Command Injection Vulnerabilities

Multiple vulnerabilities in the web-based management interface of Cisco Small Business RV320 and RV325 Series Routers and Cisco Small Business RV016, RV042, and RV082 Routers could allow an authenticated, remote attacker with administrative privileges to execute arbitrary commands on an affected device.

The vulnerabilities exist because the web-based management interface does not properly validate user-supplied input to scripts. An attacker with administrative privileges that are sufficient to log in to the web-based management interface could exploit each vulnerability by sending malicious requests to an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary commands with root privileges on the underlying operating system.

Cisco has released software updates that address these vulnerabilities. There are no workarounds that address these vulnerabilities.

This advisory is available at the following link:
https://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-rv-routers-Rj5JRfF8

Security Impact Rating: High

CVE: CVE-2020-3274,CVE-2020-3275,CVE-2020-3276,CVE-2020-3277,CVE-2020-3278,CVE-2020-3279

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IBM Upgrades Blockchain Solution to Offer Smart Contract Option

Technology giant IBM introduced new changes to its Hyperledger Fabric. This makes smart contract creation on its blockchain more flexible.

Technology giant IBM is set to upgrade its enterprise blockchain. It intends to allow blockchain users to propose and change smart contracts. Sources say that IBM said that the changes will occur in its Hyperledger 2.0 fabric.

IBM Upgrades Irs Blockchain, Makes Big Changes to Hyperledger Fabric

The amendments will allow parties to propose and change smart contracts. The difference between the proposed changes and Hyperledger fabric 1.0 is that smart contracts are centralized. The new proposed changes aim to make smart contract operations to occur on a decentralized basis.

IBM indicated this in a blog post saying:

“IBM Blockchain Platform will support Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 and continue to add additional capabilities around the new decentralized smart contract lifecycle management and other new improvements. In addition, the platform will allow the user to choose which version of Fabric to deploy and to migrate from one version to another.”

Much controversy has trailed the implementation of blockchain technology by large enterprise organizations. The major argument here is that the big tech firms won’t be able to allow blockchains to be fully decentralized. This is due to their legacy status.

Centralized technologies have ruled the technology space for decades. The introduction of decentralized technologies might not work well due to their centralized status. This is the thinking of many within the decentralized space.

Although IBM has indicated its full commitment to the changes, it hasn’t yet set a date for the launch of the new features.

Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 Is Still Centralized

The existing Hyperledger Fabric allows for central control of its smart contracts. Other parties are given a binary option: accept or decline. Upon declining, such parties are removed from the transaction in question.

This provides a fairly straightforward way to solve issues. It also removes the dynamic conditions of the critical element of choice.

Decentralizing the smart contract option will allow the parties involved to choose.

The Linux Foundation in a document has said that the new changes allow the parties to choose the terms of the smart contract before execution.

Decentralization allows for that kind of flexibility. The upgrade also requires that a quorum needs to be formed before the execution of the smart contract.

The exact composition of such a quorum remains unclear. However, most pundits have assumed that it follows the standard legal definition of a quorum.

If that is so, this would mean that smart contract functionality n the Hyperledger fabric has achieved a first for the blockchain space.

IBM’s blockchain was launched in 2017. It has attracted mainly Enterprise users who need certain types of functionality.

Hyperledger allows for users to be able to pick and choose what they want. The addition of a decentralized smart contract solution allows for the clients greater freedom. This, of course, maybe the counter-argument in favor of legacy enterprises.

At the time of filing this report, International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) stock was up in the pre-market. Its price was $120.66 (+0.33%).

Blockchain News, News

Christopher Hamman
Author: Christopher Hamman

Christopher Haruna Hamman is a Freelance content developer, Crypto-Enthusiast and tech-savvy individual. He is also a Superstar Content Developer, Strategy Demigod, and Standup Guy.

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Oracle and IBM Team Up To Tackle Enterprise Blockchain Interoperability

IBM and Oracle are in the process of integrating blockchain networks built on Fabric according to an announcement during the Phoenix Hyperledger Global Forum. Oracle’s senior blockchain director, Mark Rakhmilevich, noted that this initiative began way back in 2018 with SAP onboard as well;

“We have done full testing with IBM and SAP. The three of us have basically done cross-network testing on Fabric.”

This basically means that clients operating on Oracle’s distributed ledgers can as well communicate with another client using IBM within the same network. Blockchain nodes launched on IBM’s and Oracle’s cloud will allow a consortium to join and leverage interoperability features. Mark further highlighted that the long-term goal is to create a simple user interface with all these functions.

Future of Enterprise Blockchains

Blockchain tech is still at its early stages of implementation with the most significant use case being crypto coins. This might however change over time given the adoption of permissioned networks by major players across existing industries. Companies are slowly realizing the value in forming a consortium to share and verify data through distributed ledgers.

Despite the innovations, the regulatory space has not been very supportive of this new technology. According to Mark, Oracle and its partners will still continue with the informal process as they await guidelines;

“Creating the consortium framework is going to take a lot of time, so let’s go and start building this while the lawyers are talking, something people can run without having this formal consortium.”

As it stands, Boeing has already jumped on the enterprise blockchain bandwagon. The airplane manufacturer recorded $1 billion worth of parts on Honeywell’s Hyperledger Fabric a week ago. This move will enable Boeing to track its resold parts for safety compliance as well as scale its online market for parts. Notably, the network will operate as a permissioned ledger so as to preserve the data integrity shared within this consortium.

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Former rivals, Oracle desires blockchain built-in with IBM

Blockchain Technology in the World

The blockchain know-how market has seen an uncommon method in latest days: Oracle and IBM. Seeing the large know-how firms in the identical sentence referred to the outdated market disputes, not this time.

This is as a result of the novelty is that each firms considered a union, with the distributed accounting know-how concerned within the topic. The interoperability work is already being constructed by engineers from each firms.

IBM’s options within the blockchain know-how sector are among the many most used circumstances on this planet. The firm works with Hyperledger options, in partnership with the Linux Foundation.

Within this toolkit, Hyperledger Fabric is likely one of the highlights. The blockchains of Oracle and IBM are thought-about non-public.

Oracle and IBM may have operate to combine blockchain answer, extra energy for firms and within the improvement of distributed networks

In truth, IBM and Oracle are two of the most important know-how firms on this planet. In the database and server sector, few individuals who work within the discipline have by no means heard of any of the businesses.

IBM servers are famous in the business world
IBM servers are well-known within the business world – Reproduction / Pixabay

Although they compete for the very best place within the know-how markets, a union between the 2 giants has arrived at a brand new answer. An organization that hires IBM’s non-public blockchain device might have direct communication with an Oracle answer.

The exams, nonetheless, are nothing new, having began in 2018. According to Coindesk, Oracle, IBM and SAP, one other rival of the businesses, have already carried out joint exams to make the purposes interoperable.

Oracle’s blockchain director Mark Rakhmilevich was a kind of who examined the brand new risk again in 2018. For Mark, an organization that needed to have part of the answer on Oracle and one other a part of IBM, the method will be simply offered.

We can present the method, which is examined and licensed.

Exchanging data between non-public blockchains continues to be carried out manually, however strikes in direction of a easy interface answer

If creating a personal blockchain with assist for Oracle and IBM is the dream of firms, the trail should be restricted. According to Coindesk, Rakhmilevich said that every one the work has been carried out manually.

With that, the creation of a communication between the blockchains has been carried out, however with case by case evaluation. Even so, the director of Oracle mentioned that he believes that sooner or later the interface will likely be easy for customers to create their very own purposes.

In addition, Rakhmilevich identified that though the technical groups are excited concerning the method, there are nonetheless nice challenges for the longer term. The authorized and industrial sectors of IBM, SAP and Oracle have come into debate, to see the longer term collectively, one thing that’s not really easy.

Both firms work with completely different variations of Fabric, which can quickly have an interconnection. Despite this, Rakhmilevich mentioned that competitors between firms will nonetheless be within the discipline.

Blockchain network nodes distributed around the world
Blockchain community nodes distributed all over the world

Learn extra in Old rivals, Oracle desires blockchain built-in with IBM

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IBM and Intel Create an Open Source Project To Form Smart Contracts

IBM and Intel create an open-source project Fabric Private Chaincode that enables a new form of smart contract to attain the Intel Software Guard Extention (Intel SGX) advantages and further aid privacy and integrity in The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric blockchains.

The new model of smart contracts is appropriate for applications where it is profitable to use the known blockchain properties of allocating, decentralized execution, and immutable ledger. This is exactly how it is supposed to work. During the process, the data is meant to be kept private, even from the participants running the blockchain network.

The Fabric Private Chaincode project is an excellent example of how IntelSGX, which enhances the value of blockchain by accrediting new business models which is primarily based on a new model of trust. The existing Hyper Ledger ensures smart contract integrity by having multiple peers to execute similar chain codes and verify if their results match. This works better for use cases and not for systems that require private execution.

It is not just the Confidentiality that is sufficient to ensure if the participants can trust the smart contracts, meanwhile, it also requires integrity to allow participants to be confident about their choice of using smart contracts.

IBM believes that the adoption of Trusted Execution Environment technology for the probability of high risks in use cases today will help to cover the way for more general adoption in many other use cases in the future.

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Hyperledger Fabric can use Public DLT Hedera Hashgraph’s consensus

Today the public distributed ledger (DLT) Hedera Hashgraph released its Hedera consensus service (HCS), which can be used by external centralized applications and other blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric. Hedera is the DLT that has ten large corporates on its governance board, including Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, Google, IBM and Nomura.

The core features of a distributed ledger are an ordered log of transactions and smart contracts.

Ignoring smart contracts for a moment, a distributed ledger’s consensus is the process that orders and timestamps a series of data often as hashes or digital fingerprints of data held elsewhere.

Why does ordering matter? In something like an auction, the order of the bids are essential. Likewise, for trading securities, which offer and bid came first matters. But the sequence of events matters for most things, for example, the order of messages you receive when having a chat.

What’s different about the Hedera consensus service, is it can be used not just for the Hedera DLT but as a service externally. So a private blockchain using Hyperledger Fabric can use the Hedera consensus service to determine the timestamps and order of transactions. The whitepaper on the topic was written in conjunction with a member of the IBM Blockchain team – IBM is one of the members of Hedera’s governing council.

Hedera also claims it can be used for a private Corda or Ethereum network.

The ability to use a public consensus service is mainly a benefit in a small private network. Blockchains are meant to be immutable. But in a private blockchain with a small number of participants, the lack of decentralization means it’s entirely possible to have collusion. Small networks tend only to have one or two consensus nodes.

By having a public DLT do the time stamping, it becomes immutable. So it combines the trust of a public ledger with the privacy of a private blockchain.

But it’s not just a blockchain that could use it. Any centralized application might need some verification that its data is correct. For example, an audit log could use it if the log needed to be externally verified. Or a centralized auction app could use it to prove the bids were not manipulated.

Another advantage is that Hedera has split its consensus service from the comparatively slow smart contract service, which means it’s fast. It’s also robust because it’s asynchronous which makes it harder to disrupt it with a denial of service (DOS) attack.

But we had some questions for Hedera and didn’t get a response before publication.

First of all, one of the benefits is to achieve decentralization. While Hedera aims to have 39 governing council members and be permissionless in the future, for now we believe only the 11 council members (Google joined yesterday) operate nodes with write permissions. And we don’t know if some of the nodes are managed on their behalf.

We also aren’t clear what the current speed is. At launch in September, the cryptocurrency transactions were throttled to 10,000 transactions per second. We assume the consensus service is at least this speed.

Prior to launch, the platform raised $124 million through a token sale. Its novel technical architecture makes it faster and more scalable than most blockchains. The underlying intellectual property is licensed by Swirlds, which is owned by the founders of the network. We don’t believe the codebase has yet been subject to general review.


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