The Blockchain as a Service is Coming to a Cloud Near You

The bitcoin blockchain is becoming one of the most exciting enterprise software technologies of this decade and now is becoming available as part of popular platform as a service(PaaS) technologies. In recent weeks, both IBM and Microsoft have announced the availability of private blockchain as a service (BaaS) technologies as part of the Azure and Bluemix cloud respectively.

The blockchain is popularly known as the technology that powers the infrastructure of the bitcoin cryptocurrency. From a functional standpoint, the blockchain provides a decentralized, time stamped, ordered record of all transactions in a Bitcoin network that can be verified at any time. These simple capabilities represent the first practical answer to profound computer science problems based on the trust of nodes in a decentralized network.

Despite the popularly if bitcoin, most experts are convinced that the opportunities around the blockchain are exponentially larger that the market developed by popular crypto-currency. Industries like legal, asset management, decentralized B2B, trade settlement and many others are starting to be disrupted by the blockchain. To become mainstream, the blockchain requires general programming models and distribution mechanisms included in popular software development platforms. Enter the world of the blockchain as a service (BaaS).

Blockchain and PaaS

To address those challenges, companies like Microsoft and IBM have started including blockchain capabilities as part of their PaaS offerings. This model allows developers to provisioning, scale and operate blockchain environments without being concerned about the underlying infrastructure. Additionally, devops will leverage a consistent and familiar PaaS management experience to operate blockchain solutions.

IBM

Microsoft

BaaS Benefits

  • Seamless blockchain provisioning experience: Both Bluemix and Azure provide a very simple model to create blockchain as part of its PaaS environments.
  • Elastic scalability: BaaS models simplify the experience of adding and removing nodes to a blockchain network.
  • Global availability: By leveraging technologies like Azure and Bluemix, developers can provision blockchains in any region of the world.
  • Interoperability with other PaaS services: BaaS models facilitate the implementation of blockchain applications that leverage many of the existing PaaS services in a consistent manner
  • Sophisticated devops experience: The experience of deploying, managing and operating blockchain networks becomes simpler in PaaS environments.
  • Simpler programming models: By abstracting the underlying blockchain infrastructure, BaaS platform should be able to offer simpler programming models to create blockchain applications.

AWS, Salesforce and Google to Follow

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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