On Tuesday, IBM announced that it’s been working to make blockchain technology—which was refined and popularized by Bitcoin—easier for businesses to use for financial and non-financial purposes. Specifically, the company is launching what it’s calling “blockchain-as-a-service,” or a set of tools for “creating, deploying, running, and monitoring blockchain applications on the IBM Cloud.”
The idea of applying blockchain technology outside of the realm of Bitcoin has gained a lot of interest from forward-thinking companies in the past year or so. Blockchain applications are also called “distributed ledger technology” because they remove the need for a centralized database and, like Bitcoin, give every transaction in a particular system a cryptographic hash that can be checked by any member of the group.
Traditional financial institutions as well as startups hoping to serve those banks and stock exchanges have been among the first to glom onto the idea that a decentralized ledger could be used