Blockchain Starter Plan Launched By IBM

American multinational tech company IBM has unvieled a cheaper alternative for startups and developers to build new projects or applications on blockchain.

Called the Blockchain Starter Plan, the new product is perfect for pilot projects and early stage development work for those who want to build solutions on the IBM blockchain platform, which currently has over 250 active blockchain networks.

The product will be free for the duration of its beta version, but then will have a 30 day free trial once the plan becomes fully implemented. The starter plan is a cheaper alternative to IBM’s current enterprise plan for firms looking to develop blockchain applications.

Jason Kelley, IBM Blockchain Services General Manager, said the Blockchain Starter Plan will help startups quickly develop, operate and govern networks on the IBM blockchain platform.

“The Blockchain Starter Plan will provide the right consulting expertise and technologies to support the adoption of blockchain throughout the maturity of the network including blockchain starter services, blockchain acceleration services, and blockchain innovation services, said Kelley.

IBM also announced it has developed the world’s smallest computer – its dimensions less than a grain of salt – that is designed to work with the blockchain. The computer will cost less than $0.10 to manufacture, and is intended for logistics applications.

“The world’s smallest computer is an IBM-designed edge device architecture and computing platform that is smaller than a grain of salt will cost less than ten cents to manufacture, and can monitor, analyze, communicate, and even act on data,” IBM claims. “It packs several hundred thousand transistors into a footprint barely visible to the human eye and can help verify that a product has been handled properly throughout its long journey.”

IBM’s Arvind Krishna said within the next five years, cryptographic anchors — such as ink dots or tiny computers smaller than a grain of salt — will be embedded in everyday objects and devices.

“They’ll be used in tandem with blockchain’s distributed ledger technology to ensure an object’s authenticity from its point of origin to when it reaches the hands of the customer,” said Krishna.

IBM has been working with blockchain technology since 2015 as a way “to bring it mainstream.” In 2016, the company began testing blockchain technology “on themselves”, using the technology in their financial services business to “optimize reconciliations from vendors to suppliers.” It also entered a partnership with Walmart in 2016 for a test blockchain program on food products’ supply chains, specifically mangoes.

In January, IBM and Danish transport and logistics company Maersk launched a joint venture to commercialize blockchain for all aspects of the global supply chain system, from shipping to ports, and banks to customs offices.

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