IBM Blockchain, Its Technology, Pricing, and Clients

With the increasing demand for easy-to-use blockchain facilitation, IT enterprises are coming forward with blockchain-based products and services. These products and services focus on the setup of pre-built blockchain platforms for blockchain app developers, retail businesses, crypto-currency ventures, digital property managing agencies, gaming studios, shipping corporations, etc. Depending on the need, blockchain as a service platform could be both private blockchain or public blockchain.

One such blockchain development platform is IBM blockchain that offers ready-made software and interfaces for blockchain development purposes.

An Introduction to IBM Blockchain Platform

IBM blockchain platform offers a profitable and intelligent way for businesses to free themselves from legacy processes through paperwork and onsite verification at a hefty cost.

IBM blockchain is a complete solution for blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS). IBM also offers blockchain network management. Any business can build, operate, and grow its in-house blockchain on IBM’s platform with a solution that is useful from development through production.

As of now, 1,600 IBM business and technical experts have taken up more than 500 IBM Blockchain projects for its clients across the world. IBM public blockchain and private blockchain services found utility in many fields, and these are:

  1. Proof of document certification systems for enterprises and background checking agencies.
  2. Groceries and food items origin tracing.
  3. Digitizing the shipping system and its security through immutable Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and NFT tokenization.

The Technology in Use for IBM Blockchain

The underlying tools and technologies of IBM blockchain are similar to that of Hyperledger Fabric. Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source blockchain solution with permissioned access to its network by peers. Followings are the component overview of the Fabric network:

  1. Peers

The blockchain network includes many peer nodes, which are fundamental components of a blockchain. Business houses are the admins and owners of these nodes.

Peers are the primary component of any blockchain network as they host Smart Contracts and Ledgers. Peers execute and validate transactions. Fundamentally, peers are the host for the instances of Smart Contracts and Ledgers.

  1. Certificate Authorities (CAs)

In a public blockchain or private blockchain network, peers interact in a managed way to serve business intentions. These interactions need verification through Certificate Authorities (CAs).

The Certificate Authority (CA) component produces peer identities as x509 certificates. It also establishes identities for the organizations in the form of Membership Services Provider (MSP).

A user should have his certificate inside the MSP admin subfolder. It will allow the user to become an admin of the organization’s blockchain network.

  1. Ordering services

In Hyperledger Fabric, those peers which depend on deterministic consensus algorithms are ordering nodes or orderers. A collection of such nodes create the ordering service.

Fabric enjoys advantages over Ethereum or Bitcoin blockchain as it separates the ordering of Smart Contract execution from its endorsement.

IBM blockchain uses Raft protocol to dynamically choose a leader node from the set of ordering nodes.

  1. Channels

In a Fabric blockchain, the channel is a system through which subsets of network members can generate a unique ledger for transactions. Channels ensure a private layer of communication. It maintains secrecy so that a network member will not even know that the channel exists if it is not a part of the channel.

  1. Smart contracts

Smart contracts in the blockchain are similar to the consensus of businesses on standard rules and processes. A larger structure, the chaincode, contains Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts are business logic and infrastructure to validate a peer’s identity who wants to cite a Smart Contract.

  1. Applications

IBM blockchain platform allows in-house or client apps to interact with the blockchain network through Smart Contracts, APIs, and SDKs. IBM mainly utilizes REST API, and the industry identity of this API is RESTful.

  1. Tokenization in Hyperledger Fabric

IBM blockchain utilizes FabToken on Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 Alpha to depict assets as tokens on Fabric channels.

IBM Blockchain Platform Major Use Cases and Clients

Followings are the top IBM blockchain-as-a-service clients and use cases:

  1. Nordea Bank Abp

Nordea bank utilizes a blockchain network to enable secure and smooth international commodities trading for its clients. It partnered with other prominent European banks to facilitate easy trading globally.

  1. InBlock Cryptocurrency Security

Metacoin, a cryptocurrency from InBlock LLC, is based on a Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network. It operates as a permissioned public blockchain. The company utilizes the IBM blockchain platform to manage this cryptocurrency blockchain.

  1. Kroger Groceries Retail

Kroger utilizes the IBM blockchain platform for food traceability and certification. It operates through NFT tokenization and other blockchain systems.

  1. NuArca Proxy Voting

NuArca developed a proxy voting system using the IBM blockchain platform to facilitate objecting beneficial owners (OBOs) to cast their proxy votes.

  1. Plastic Bank

The Plastic Bank has created a business model to monetize ocean plastics through the IBM blockchain platform and its cloud technology.

  1. True Tickets

The True Tickets system creates and preserves ticket origin by confirming seller and buyer identity. Then, it protects the tickets through an immutable ledger system for ease of access.

  1. Marsh Proof of Insurance

Marsh LLC, the globally acclaimed insurance broking and risk management enterprise, uses IBM blockchain to produce insurance proofs for gig workers and contractors.

  1. RCS Global Sourcing & Procurement

Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network is a streamlined system from RCS Global for efficient raw minerals sourcing from several trusted sources.

  1. iPoint-systems GmBh

iPoint-systems GmbH has built a blockchain network to trace minerals from high-risk areas and conflict-affected countries of origin.

IBM Blockchain Deployment Price Offerings

IBM blockchain-as-a-service offers a new pricing model based on hourly rates of virtual processor core (VPC) quota. The licensing cost of IBM blockchain products and services depends on the VPC, a unit of measurement to determine usage charge. 1 VPC = 1 CPU = 1 vCPU = 1 Core is the simple math for IBM blockchain cost estimation purposes.

Followings are the pricing options depending on the deployment platforms that you choose:

Deployment Platform (IBM Cloud)IBM Cloud advantages:
$0.29 USD/per Allocated CPU-Hour (VPC-hour)

Deploy as BaaS

No fees towards membership of the services.
Allocate more investments to blockchain development than infrastructure.
Highly flexible scale down option to cut costs when operating with fewer users.
Instant scale-up systems when you see a surge in traffic.
You can also utilize existing IBM cloud services features.
Fully transparent billing with a real-time dashboard to eliminate hidden fees.

Table 1: Deployment Platform (IBM Cloud) Pricing

The IBM blockchain services for IBM Cloud require you to subscribe to the IBM Cloud Kubernetes storage and service. The following table is an example of certain service tiers and their costs. For detailed pricing, please visit the IBM website.

Sl. No.Service TierFeaturesCost Per Hour
1► Free► Only to explore the capabilities

► You get free cluster with 1 node

► Free
2► 2 vCPUs 4GB RAM Virtual – shared

► Classic infrastructure through Ubuntu 18 OS

► 1Gbps network speed

► 25GB SSD primary disk

► 100GB SSD secondary disk

► $0.11 USD / 1 – 150 Hours

► $0.11 USD / 151 – 290 Hours

► $0.10 USD / 291 – 540 Hours

► $0.10 USD / 540+ Hours

3► 4 vCPUs 16GB RAM Virtual – shared

► Classic infrastructure through Ubuntu 18 OS

► 1Gbps network speed

► 25GB SSD primary disk

► 100GB SSD secondary disk

► $0.29 USD / 1 – 150 Hours

► $0.28 USD / 151 – 290 Hours

► $0.26 USD / 291 – 540 Hours

► $0.25 USD / 540+ Hours

4► 4 vCPUs 32GB RAM Virtual – shared

► Classic infrastructure through Ubuntu 18 OS

► 1Gbps network speed

► 25GB SSD primary disk

► 100GB SSD secondary disk

► $0.34 USD / 1 – 1500 Hours

► $0.32 USD / 1501 – 2900 Hours

► $0.30 USD / 2901 – 5400 Hours

► $0.29 USD / 5400+ Hours

5► 2 vCPUs 4GB RAM Virtual – dedicated

► Classic infrastructure through Ubuntu 18 OS

► 1Gbps network speed

► 25GB SSD primary disk

► 100GB SSD secondary disk

► $0.34 USD / 1 – 150 Hours

► $0.32 USD / 151 – 290 Hours

► $0.31 USD / 291 – 540 Hours

► $0.29 USD / 540+ Hours

 

Table 2: Kubernetes cluster (IBM Cloud Services) Pricing

Deployment Platform (Deploy Anywhere)Featured Services:
Contact IBM for a Personalized Pricing OfferDeploy on-premise behind your inhouse firewall to meet stringent security
Deploy in a public blockchain, private blockchain, or hybrid multi-cloud
An optimized system that can run Red Hat OpenShift
Supports any Kubernetes ecosystem version 1.14 or higher
Access to the latest Hyperledger Fabric features
Ability to operate with other Hyperledger Fabric network
Dedicated console to deploy, scale, manage, upgrade, and govern the blockchain
Visual Studio Code IDE compatibility
24/7 support from Hyperledger Fabric experts

 

Table 3: Deployment Platform (Deploy Anywhere) Pricing

Competitors and Alternatives of IBM Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

If you wish to build blockchain apps and networks on the interface and software of blockchain-as-a-service providers, there are multiple viable alternatives to the IBM blockchain. Followings are the competitors of the IBM blockchain platform that offer you the speed, power, and flexibility to deliver business value on the promise of blockchain technology:

  1. Dappros BaaS

If you are looking for a user-friendly development interface, affordability, business productivity add-ons, and a host of a lot more tailor-made blockchain technology, Dappros BaaS should be on your list of choices. Dappros BaaS has the ability to deliver the followings as value addition to your business:

  • The blockchain network is built on the Ethereum blockchain delivering the highest level of security.
  • It offers hassle-free access to a modern web-based console to monitor and analyze the performance of the blockchain network.
  • It can deliver both public blockchain and private blockchain platforms.
  • You can also get access to crypto wallet technology for your business transactions.
  • If you need to manage high-value digital properties, Dappros offers you a reliable tokenization platform for NFTs.
  • Dappros also provide you easier in-house app integration with a blockchain network through REST JSON API.
  1. Oracle Blockchain Cloud

Oracle brings you blockchain as a service, a complete solution for a production-ready blockchain technology platform built on Hyperledger Fabric.

  1. Factom Blockchain

If you are looking to build record-keeping systems which should be independently verifiable and immutable, Factom blockchain offers you a purpose-built decentralized publication protocol.

  1. Samsung SDS’s Blockchain Platform

Samsung SDS offers two types of blockchain as a service platform under the brand name: Nexledger Universal and Nexledger Accelerator.

Samsung blockchain services include interoperability, security, and fast transaction through an efficient cloud service. It is a private-permissioned blockchain platform with an open-source hybrid approach. Moreover, Nexledger comes with standard network management tools, external linkages, APIs, and a structured DevOps ecosystem.

  1. Rubix Blockchain Platform

Deloitte offers blockchain-as-a-service under the brand name Rubix. The blockchain platform is mostly used for used cases such as financial auditing, financial reconciliation, loyalty programs, and land registry.

Rubix also offers tokenchain architecture for the tokenization of NFTs. It has two types of tokens, namely Utility tokens and Asset tokens.

  1. HPE Mission-Critical DLT

Mission Critical Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a service offering from the HP blockchain-as-a-service platform. HPE claims that its blockchain development platform has significant monetization potential in the following industries: antiquities trade, retail, finance, manufacturing, governments, and healthcare.

HPE Mission-Critical DLT blockchain services offer easy migration of an enterprise public blockchain network to a more secure private blockchain system.

  1. Amazon Managed Blockchain

Amazon’s blockchain as a service makes it easy for you to join any existing public blockchain. It also renders services to deploy a scalable private blockchain using the most popular Ethereum blockchain and Hyperledger Fabric.

Blockchain Transforms Your Business Operations and Transactions to Earn Higher ROI

Many enterprises can utilize their capital investments and resources efficiently through blockchain technology and tokenization. Businesses have also found additional monetization opportunities. Get in touch with an efficient blockchain service provider and deploy instant private blockchain or public blockchain. In this context, the Dappros blockchain platform is one of the best feature-packed alternatives for the IBM blockchain services.