This is a high level introduction to blockchain concepts and business value. Presentations in this series are: Blockchain Explained: High level introduction to blockchain for business IBM Blockchain Platform Explained: An introduction to the IBM Blockchain Platform Blockchain Solutions: Use-cases, references and how IBM can help Blockchain Composed: A technical introduction to Hyperledger Composer Blockchain Architected: A technical introduction to the concepts and components of a blockchain solution Blockchain Explored: A technical deep dive on Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain Next Steps: How to proceed on a first project
There is much hype around Blockchain. Most of this relates to the use of Blockchain to underpin the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Whilst IBM are not interested in cryptocurrency, we are very interested in exploring the broader business application of blockchain technology. This is a transformational opportunity for many of our clients.
IBM is a recognized leader in making blockchain real for business. We are helping many hundreds of clients on their blockchain journeys.
This presentation is the first step! IBM has lots of educational material (signified by the breadcrumb trail at the top of this chart) and a well-defined engagement process that will help. We will take you through all of this later on in this presentation.
The latest copy of this presentation can be found on the IBM intranet at https://ibm.box.com/v/BlockchainExplained. Feel free to distribute a PDF of this file to clients (https://ibm.box.com/v/BlockchainExplainedPDF) or point people at Slideshare (https://www.slideshare.net/MattLucas3/blockchain-explained-vNNN) where NNN is the version number without the ’.’.
This presentation is in three sections:
What is Blockchain: Covers the essentials of blockchain for business Why is it relevant: Key use-cases How can IBM help: IBM’s value proposition and the state of the technology
Business never operates in isolation. They are participants in a business network.
Business Networks will connect customers, suppliers, banks and regulators and will cross geographical boundaries.
WEALTH is generated as goods and services move across this network; this flow is referred to as a MARKET.
Growth of wealth can be constrained if the network is heavily silo’d or inefficient.
Ownership of assets pass across the network in return for payments, and governed by contracts.
ASSETS can be tangible and intangible, We are most comfortable with tangible (Cars, Houses),
INTANGIBLE assets – financial instruments most obvious, but don’t forget about intellectual assets like patents and growing digital assets (music, games, video, art).
Ledgers are not new – they have been used for double entry book keeping since 10 November 1494 when Luca Pacioli (the Franciscan monk) published his work on double-entry book-keeping.
Commercial usage of the term is for the "principal book of account" in a business house.
THE system of record for recording asset transfer in and out of a business.
What’s new here is the SHARED LEDGER – up to this point each participant had their own Ledger
This sharing is the foundation for innovative business solutions,
This introduces an interesting set of technical challenges, including (1) participant identity and privacy & (2) transaction privacy
Let’s look at this in some more detail.
This is the “BEFORE” picture representing the “status quo” for business networks.
Each participant keeps their own ledger(s) which are updated to represent business transactions as they occur.
This is EXPENSIVE due to duplication of effort and intermediaries adding margin for services.
It is clearly INEFFICIENT, as the business conditions – the contract – is duplicated by every network participant
It is also VULNERABLE because if a central system (e.g. Bank) is compromised due to an incidents this affects the whole business network. Incidents can include fraud, cyber attack or a simple mistake.
The novel Blockchain architecture give participants the ability to share a ledger which is updated every time a transaction occurs through peer to peer replication.
Cryptography is used to ensure that network participants see only the parts of the ledger that are relevant to them, and that transactions are secure, authenticated and verifiable.
Blockchain also allows the contract for asset transfer to be embedded in the transaction database determining the conditions under which the transaction can occur.
Network participants agree how transactions are verified through consensus or similar mechanisms. Government oversight, compliance & audit can be part of the same network.
Participants SAME AS BEFORE – this is not a disintermediation play
CONSENSUS– means all participants agree that a transaction is valid
PROVENANCE– means participants know where the asset came from and how it’s ownership has changed over time
IMMUTABILITY– means no participant can tamper with a transaction once it’s agreed. If a transaction was in error then a NEW transaction must be used to reverse the error, with both visible
FINALITY– means that there is ONE place to determine the ownership of an asset or completion of a transaction. This is the role of the SHARED LEDGER.
Blockchain technology enables the Bitcoin crypto currency and is best known for this usage.
However, the shared ledger technology is separate & separable – applicable to a whole range of business challenges that cross all industries.
IBM is not interested in crypto currency, but is missioned to help our customers make the most from Blockchain technologies. We see this as a major transformation opportunity for many of our customers.
Digital currencies (i.e. the representation of FIAT currency as an asset on a blockchain) are auditable and permissioned, hence excellent Blockchain use case
Blockchain for business comprises these four main blocks, that can lead to increased efficiencies, and cost reduction across the business network. Together they add TRUST to a business network.
Shared ledger and Smart Contract are the ‘things’ that constitute blockchain; privacy and the ’proof’ are the qualities of service.
We will “unpack” these four elements in the next few charts.
After giving this chart: If you are pushed for time you might want to skip the next four charts, which go into the detail of this one. For a less technical audience, you might want to skip straight to a demo (e.g. car leasing).
The ledger is the first “thing” that constitutes blockchain. The is an append-only system of record that has appropriate privacy and permissions.
It is a modernization of the ledger concept that has been around for ages. Crucially the ledger is now shared among the participants of the business network.
The smart contract is the second “thing” associated with blockchain and describes the rules that govern a transaction.
To a technical audience, a transaction is analogous to a stored procedure call on a database. The smart contract is simply a piece of code that runs; the input parameters to the code (and a reference to the code itself) are stored as the transaction details.
In Hyperledger Fabric the smart contract is implemented as “chain code”.
Not every member of business network can see all of the Blockchain
Cryptography controls who can see what
Implies user registration process to build trust network and access permission via certification management
CRYPTOGRAPHIC consensus needed to support participant anonymity – this is NO TRUST system
This is expensive, giving a COST to anonymity.
When there is TRUST in a business network this become less, in the limit superfluous
So as TRUST increases then cost of consensus decreases or in the limit can be eliminated
In today's digitally networked world, no single institution works in isolation.
There is a race to capture the tremendous opportunities to create new value, transform industries, optimize business ecosystems, and reduce risk using business networks created with blockchain technology.
With blockchain, inefficiencies in business to business processes created by lack of trust and transparency can now be eliminated and new innovative business processes can be created, streamlining the exchange of value along your ecosystem in ways.
Use-cases that focus on CONSENSUS.
Any reference data that is shared in a business network is a potential blockchain network.
Think bank routing codes or common vocabularies for asset exchange data, where it’s important to be able to make changes to the data set in real time (and without requiring a trusted third party).
Also claim or identity information as required for fraud prevention in insurance networks.
Use-cases that focus on PROVENANCE, supply chains are a great source of blockchain use-cases. Here are several examples:
Food Trust - tracking the provenance of food in a supply chain (e.g. Walmart)
IBM Global Finance – reducing the cost of disputes with suppliers (reference example)
Everledger – storing the provenance of diamonds on a blockchain to prevent the trade in so-called blood diamonds (reference example)
Bringing together car servicing network with the manufacturer network would allow manufacturers to target car recalls more effectively
Storing the provenance of aircraft components on a blockchain to track servicing and replacement, and to prevent decommissioned components re-entering the supply chain
A use-case that focusses on IMMUTABILITY (tamperproof ledger).
A good first use-case, which is to give an organization complete and consistent access to their own ledger.
Today organizations typically have audit and compliance departments that consolidate ledger information from different departments every so often in order to supply that information to the auditor or regulator. This is slow and the information quickly becomes out of date.
Blockchain allows this process to be automated and provides visibility to an organization's liquidity in real time.
Furthermore, bringing the auditor into this same business network would completely change the nature of audit and compliance, from being a push to the auditor to allowing the auditor to pull the information on demand.
A use-case that focusses on FINALITY.
Letters of credit is a centuries old process (actually started in medieval times with the Knights Templar who required a way to allow pilgrims to travel to Jerusalem without the danger of carrying money around).
The letter of credit process is a difficult one to automate due to the sheer numbers of network participants involved. In this example we show Bank A and Bank B but in reality there is a complicated network in reality.
Blockchain gives us an opportunity to modernize; with blockchain, the letter of credit is stored on the blockchain and once spent, is marked as such so that the value of the letter cannot be spent again.
This use-case also allows for innovative methods of payment using Internet of Things (e.g. GPS, temperature sensors, humidity sensors). Smart contracts could implement rules that prevent/allow/increase/reduce payment if certain conditions hold (e.g. if it gets too hot/cold/humid/dry, or if the goods are a certain percentage of the way to the destination).
There are use-case examples everywhere, and we’re still in the early days of understanding the potential. Also be aware that many use-cases (e.g. supply chain) are cross industry.
For an active list of use cases by industry on the IBM intranet: http://ibm.biz/BlockUseCases, and on the internet at http://ibm.com/blockchain
Blockchain use-cases tend to fall into one of these four categories.
The categories towards the bottom of the chart tend to be easier to implement because they have fewer participants to influence, or require less regulatory involvement. This makes them more suited to first projects.
Use-cases in the categories towards the top of the chart may take longer to come to fruition, but are highly valuable/transformative.
Blockchain use-cases tend to require the influence of one or more external stakeholders, which are described here.
An example of a non-financial market maker include Apple, if for example you wanted to create a secondary market for music licenses.
From Ideation to PoC to Pilot to production quickly develop, deploy and operate on with stability and consistency
Really crossing an important threshold. Open source of aspects of blockchain is maturing rapidly. Hyperledger fabric as a run time has hit a significant 1.0 milestone.
Announcing a production ready service.
The most complete and production ready platform is build around comprised of 3 main lifecycle capabilities meant to (develop blockchain apps and activate blockchain networks at speed and scale. ....simplify, standardize and accelerate blockchain app development, initiation/democratic governance and network operations
developer sandbox in the cloud for rapid iteration and prototyping having an environment that doesn't take 6months to a year to build on your own and Millions of dollars to basic it plumbing...key management,
complete production ready runtime as well that now includes a set of native governance tools that help solve difficult multi-party problems
24x7 integrated service, production hardened to optimize for performance and resiliency with an architecture that is all automated and instrumented as a modern cloud service
It is important to correctly distinguish between the terms and projects here:
Hyperledger is a trademark of the Linux Foundation and is the umbrella for a group of projects designed to advance blockchain for business. Hyperledger Fabric is one framework that is underneath this umbrella. Contributors to Fabric include IBM, DTCC, Fujitsu and others. Other frameworks include Iroha and Sawtooth. IBM Blockchain is used to describe the breadth of technologies and services that are supplied uniquely by IBM (e.g. hosting on Bluemix).
One of the key differentiators for Hyperledger is open governance. This means that there is no one controlling organisation that governs the direction of the project, and no lock-in to one particular vendor.
Hyperledger is the fastest growing project in Linux Foundation history and has a huge amount of industry support.
Hyperledger Fabric is one of two Hyperledger projects that IBM is significantly investing in, although it is important to note that Fabric is NOT an IBM project. V1 was released on 11 July 2017 with developers representing 27 different organizations. See https://www.hyperledger.org/blog/2017/07/11/hyperledger-fabric-1-0-is-released.
Hyperledger Composer aims to bridge the gap between the high level abstractions that have been described in this presentation (i.e. assets, participants and transactions) and the technical realities of Hyperledger Fabric (i.e. invoking code on a distributed processing system).
Hyperledger Composer is now a Linux Foundation Hyperledger project. It requires Hyperledger Fabric.
Rapidly activate your blockchain network in 1/3 the time: With tools that help you overcome the difficult collaboration and technical tasks you will run into as you move from ideas to production Experience of over 400 client engagements at your fingertips with numerous tools to accelerate the heavy lifting required to make your blockchain network a reality
The IBM Blockchain Platform is the only integrated, business ready platform that addresses the full life cycle (develop, govern, and operate) of a multi-organization blockchain network. Designed to accelerate through phased collaboration the creation of a “built for business” global blockchain network across industries and use cases In record time, you can: Collaborate to build your code with team based DevOps leveraging Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer Invite and manage your ecosystem with democratic business rules Keep the network running in a hyper-secure environment that meets the performance and trust requirements of even the most demanding and regulated industries
IBM brings the experience of over 400+ Client engagements and multiple active networks at your ecosystems fingertips.
The IBM Blockchain Platform puts the experience of over 400+ Client engagements and multiple active networks at your ecosystems fingertips.
IBM has a large and increasing number of public references on blockchain.
COMPLETE LIST with references is here > http://ibm.biz/BlockPubRef
Northern Trust: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51655.wss Maersk: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51712.wss HSBC, Bank of America, IDA: http://www.coindesk.com/hsbc-bank-america-blockchain-supply-chain/ ABN AMRO: https://www.abnamro.com/en/newsroom/blogs/arjan-van-os/2016/walking-the-walk-exploring-the-power-of-blockchain.html Crédit Mutuel Arkéa: http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-completes-blockchain-trial-french-bank-credit-mutuel/ JPX: http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/49088.wss Kouvola Innovation: http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/49029.wss London Stock Exchange: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/linux-foundation-blockchain-consortium-digital-asset-ibm-credits-london-stock-exchange-board-1533798 Mizuho: http://www.coindesk.com/mizuho-digital-currency-powered-blockchain-settlement/ IBM Global Finance: http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-building-blockchain-dispute-resolution-system/ Everledger https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/50169.wss Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/50544.wss China UnionPay http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-china-unionpay-blockchain-loyalty-exchange/ CLS http://www.coindesk.com/cls-to-develop-blockchain-payment-service-on-ibm-fabric/ UBS http://www.coindesk.com/ubs-blockchain-prototype-trade/
IBM GF: http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-building-blockchain-dispute-resolution-system/
As of end-2016, IBM has over 400 clients going through this pipeline (public information).
Blockchain Hands-on is analogous to a proof-of-technology, but is designed for business people in addition to technical people.
First project is analogous to a proof-of-concept, but is designed to provide real and ongoing value to the client rather than being disposable.
We do not recommend short-cutting any stage in this process.
This chart describes the potential next steps in blockchain.
An Introduction to Blockchain for Business
IBM Blockchain Platform
V5.04, 26 January 2018
What is Blockchain?
Why is it relevant for
How can IBM help us
Business networks, wealth and markets
• Business Networks benefit from connectivity
– Participants are customers, suppliers,
– Cross geography and regulatory boundary
• Wealth is generated by the flow of goods and
services across business network in transactions
• Markets are central to this process:
– Public (fruit market, car auction), or
– Private (supply chain financing, bonds)
Transferring assets, building value
Anything that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value, is an asset
types of asset
Cash is also
• Tangible, e.g. a house
• Intangible, e.g. a mortgage
• Financial, e.g. bond
• Intellectual, e.g. patents
• Digital, e.g. music
• Has property of anonymity
Ledgers are key
Ledgers are THE system of record for a business.
Businesses will have multiple ledgers for the multiple
business networks in which they participate.
• Transaction: an asset transfer onto or off the ledger
– John gives a car to Anthony (simple)
• Contract: the conditions for a transaction to occur
– If Anthony pays John money, then car passes
from John to Anthony (simple)
– If car won't start, funds do not pass to John (as
decided by third party arbitrator) (more
Introducing Blockchain for Business…
… inefficient, expensive, vulnerable
… with consensus, provenance, immutability and finality
A shared, replicated, permissioned ledger …
Other types of blockchain exist
– The first blockchain application
– Defines an unregulated shadow-currency
– Resource intensive
• Blockchains for business are generally
permissioned and private, and prioritize:
– Identity over anonymity
– Selective endorsement over proof of work
– Assets over cryptocurrency
is an example of an
unpermissioned, public ledger:
Blockchain for business requires trust
distributed system of
record shared across
are secure with
Records all transactions across
business network• Shared between participants
• Participants have own copy through
• Permissioned, so participants see only
• THE shared system of record
Business rules associated
with the transaction
• Verifiable, signed
• Encoded in programming
– Defines contractual conditions
under which a bond transfer
• Participants need:
– Appropriate privacy and confidentiality
between subsets of participants
– Identity not linked to a transaction
• Transactions need to be authenticated
• Cryptography is central to these
The ledger is shared, but
participants require privacy and
The ledger is a trusted source
of information• Participants endorse transactions
– Business network decides who will
– Endorsed transactions are added to the
ledger with appropriate confidentiality
• Assets have a verifiable audit trail
– Transactions cannot be modified,
inserted or deleted
• Achieved through consensus,
provenance, immutability and finality
What is Blockchain?
Why is it relevant for
How can IBM help us
Blockchain is creating extraordinary opportunities for
businesses to come together in new ways
Streamline business processes
and the exchange of value along
with transparency and a trusted
Create New Value
Exploit new business
models and eliminate
1. Consolidated, consistent
dataset reduces errors
2. Near real-time access to
3. Naturally supports code
editing and routing code
transfers between participants
What • Competitors/collaborators in a business network need
to share reference data, e.g. bank routing codes
• Each member maintains their own codes,
and forwards changes to a central authority for
collection and distribution
• An information subset can be owned by organizations
How • Each participant maintains their own codes within a
• Blockchain creates single view of entire dataset
Shared reference data
1. Trust increased, no authority
2. Improvement in
3. Recalls "specific"
rather than cross fleet
What • Provenance of each component part in complex
system hard to track
• Manufacturer, production date, batch and even
the manufacturing machine program
How • Blockchain holds complete provenance details
of each component part
• Accessible by each manufacturer in the production
process, the aircraft owners, maintainers and
1. Lowers cost of audit and
2. Provides “seek and find”
access to auditors and
3. Changes nature of
passive to active
What • Financial data in a large organization dispersed
throughout many divisions and geographies
• Audit and Compliance needs indelible record of all
key transactions over reporting period
How • Blockchain collects transaction records from diverse
set of financial systems
• Append-only and tamperproof qualities create high
confidence financial audit trail
• Privacy features to ensure authorized user access
Audit and compliance
1. Increase speed of execution
(less than 1 day)
2. Vastly reduced cost
3. Reduced risk,
e.g. currency fluctuations
4. Value added services,
e.g. incremental payment
What • Bank handling letters of credit (LOC) wants to offer
them to a wider range of clients including startups
• Currently constrained by costs & the time to execute
How • Blockchain provides common ledger for letters of credit
• Allows all counter-parties to have the same validated
record of transaction and fulfillment
Letter of credit
Letter of credit
Republic of A
Buyer’s bank issues
LC and sends to
Bank A Bank B
Seller’s bank authenticates
LC and credits Company B
Financial Public Sector Retail Insurance Manufacturing
• Trade Finance
• Cross currency
• Citizen Identity
• Medical records
• Medicine supply
• Supply chain
• Risk provenance
• Asset usage
• Claims file
• Supply chain
• Product parts
Further examples by (selected) industry
Patterns for customer adoption
• Created by a small set of participants
• Share key reference data
• Consolidated, consistent real-time view
• Sharing of assets (voting, dividend notification)
• Assets are intangible
• Provenance & finality are key
• Transfer of high value assets
• Between many participants in a market
• Regulatory timeframes
• Real-time view of compliance, audit & risk data
• Provenance, immutability & finality are key
• Transparent access to auditor & regulator
Key players for blockchain adoption
Regulator Industry Group Market Maker
• An organization who enforces
the rules of play
• Regulators are keen to support
Blockchain based innovations
• Concern is systemic risk – new
technology, distributed data,
• Often funded by members of a
• Provide technical advice on
• Encourages best practice by
making recommendations to
• In financial markets, takes buy-
side and sell-side to provide
• More generally, the organization
- Creates a new good or service,
and business process (likely)
- Creates a new business process
for an existing good or service
What is Blockchain?
Why is it relevant for
How can IBM help us
IBM Blockchain brings
together the world’s most
technology and ecosystem
to transform industries
services teams from
ideation all the way
by building and
Develop, govern and
with speed and
As a founding and
premier member of
committed to open
Hyperledger: A Linux Foundation project
• A collaborative effort created to advance cross-
industry blockchain technologies for business
• Founded February 2016; now more than 185
• Open source, open standards, open governance
• Five frameworks and four tools projects
• IBM is a premier member of Hyperledger
Updated: 26 January 2018
Hyperledger Fabric: Distributed ledger platform
• An implementation of blockchain technology that is
a foundation for developing blockchain applications
• Emphasis on ledger, smart contracts, consensus,
confidentiality, resiliency and scalability.
• V1.0 released July 2017
– 159 developers from 27 organizations
– IBM is one contributor of code, IP and
development effort to Hyperledger Fabric
Accelerating Time to Value
– Model your business networks, test and expose via APIs
– Applications invoke transactions to interact with business network
– Integrate existing systems of record
• Fully open and part of Linux Foundation Hyperledger
• Try it in your web browser now:
• A suite of high level application abstractions for business networks
• Emphasis on business-centric vocabulary for quick solution creation
• Reduce risk, and increase understanding and flexibility
Introducing IBM Blockchain
IBM Blockchain Platform is a fully integrated enterprise-
ready blockchain platform designed to accelerate the
development, governance, and operation of a multi-
institution business network
• Full lifecycle tooling to speed activation and management
of your network
• Specialized compute for security, performance and
• Delivered via the IBM Cloud on a global footprint with
24x7 Integrated Support
• Based on Hyperledger Fabric V1 runtime and using
Hyperledger Composer development tools
Explore and accelerate development time with
tools that ensure close alignment between
business leaders and developers
Speed activation, customization and
management of your business network with
democratic, multi-party governance tooling
Deploy and operate always-on networks
with production-ready enterprise performance
and security for most demanding use cases
Making blockchain real for business with over 400
engagements and multiple active networks
Trade Finance Pre and Post Trade Complex Risk Coverage
Identity/ Know your customer (KYC) Unlisted Securities/ Private Equity Funds Loyalty Program
Medicated Health Data Exchange Fraud/ Compliance Registry Distributed Energy/ Carbon Credit
Supply Chain Food Trust Provenance/ Traceability
IBM Engagement Model overview
1. Discuss Blockchain
2. Explore customer
3. Show Blockchain
1. Understand Blockchain
concepts & elements
2. Hands on with
Blockchain on Bluemix
3. Standard demo
1. Design Thinking
workshop to define
2. Agile iterations
3. Enterprise integration
1. Scale up pilot or Scale
out to new projects
2. Business Process
3. Systems Integration
Remote Digital Face to face Face to face
Getting started on your blockchain journey
Learn More About
Schedule an IBM
Develop a Blockchain
Activate and Grow your
Questions? Tweet us or
go to ibm.com/blockchain