Blockchain as a Service – BaaS: Many technology companies are already offering the Blockchain as a Service (abbreviated as BaaS). What is Blockchain as a service? Have a read.
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What is Blockchain
The Blockchain is a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions executed over time. Every completed block is added to the ledger.
Blockchain allows maintains a track of all the transactions since inception. All the new and completed blocks are added in the chain in a chronological order. This serves as a database for all transactions as every completed block becomes a part of its permanent database.
Since a chain is created linking all the blocks it is termed as ‘Blockchain’ this is a technological breakthrough and was first for the virtual currency ‘Bitcoin’.
Every node that is connected to the system shares the Blockchain database.
Every transaction that is carried out is verified. With a higher number of parties, this verification process becomes very tedious.
Each and every aspect of the participant is scrutinized for accuracy.
In the case of the blockchain, every transaction is added as a new block in the series of transactions. This makes the reconciliation very easy and efficient. It is very easy to access through all the connected nodes.
Any changes made in the blockchain can be viewed by all the participants. There is a high level of transparency in the blockchain technology
The Blockchain is an emerging technology that allows performing transactions and verification of these transactions instantly.
Business, Industries, and Public Organizations have greatly benefited from this technology. Some of the salient features of Blockchain Technology are
- Streamlining Business Process
- Reduce costs
- Eliminating the chances of fraud
- Making the system transparent
- Improve ability to verify the system
Whether financial or non-financial, Blockchain technology has a wide range of applications.
What is Blockchain as a Service
Blockchain as a Service provisions a platform for organizations to cooperate together by experimenting with new business developments supported by the cloud platform.
Many business entities are incorporating this technology into the operations. Many technology organization has also started offering the Blockchain as a Service.
Many companies hope to make the most of the currently growing technological platform.
The industry leaders are looking towards this technology not only as a stream of revenue but also to reduce the cost.
The well-known companies that are currently spearheading the ‘Blockchain as a Service’ segment are Microsoft Azure, Deloitte, and Bluemix.
The section below lists the companies offering Blockchain as a service and describes the Blockchain as a service introduced by them.
Ethereum – Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS)
Microsoft Azure is a branch of Microsoft provides building, deploying and managing applications services in the cloud.
Microsoft Azure provides ‘software as a service’, ‘platform as a service’ and ‘infrastructure as a service’. It supports a multitude of programming languages, tools, and frameworks.
Ethereum Blockchain as a Service is the brainchild of Microsoft Azure and ConsenSys.
These two companies partnered in November 2015 to Create Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS).
Ethereum Blockchain as a Service is a distributed computing platform with a smart contract functionality.
It is powered by a decentralized virtual Machine, also called as Ethereum Virtual Machine. It hosts an international network of public nodes for executing scripts.
The medium of exchange used by Ethereum is termed as “Ether” which is used to compensate the participating public nodes. Some of the distinguishing features of Ethereum are
Ether: This is the digital value assigned on the Ethereum Blockchain to pay for transactional fees and computational services. It also is traded in the Cryptocurrency exchanges.
Smart Contracts: Applications stored in the Blockchain that facilitates and enforce negotiation of a contract.
EVM or Ethereum Virtual Machine: The EVM provides a platform for executing the smart contracts in Ethereum. EVM is implemented in programming languages like C++, Python, and Ruby.
Chain Inc is a company that is building a variety of tools for stock exchanges, well-known banks, and major credit card companies.
Chain Inc has worked immensely to introduce the blockchain technology to Wall Street.
It allows the participants to effortlessly transfer, trade and manage financial assets with a high level of security.
Chain Inc has also built and released an open source blockchain protocol.
Chain Inc has performed this feat with a group of firms engaged in Financial Services.
This protocol is known as Chain OS1. Chain OS1 will be able to execute and settle transactions in just one second against 10 minutes in Bitcoin Blockchain.
Abra – Blockchain as a Service
Abra is currently working on building a digital asset management system on a global scale.
This blockchain as a service will have many retail banking functionalities. It is targeting the market of traditional fund transfer companies.
It is estimated that using the blockchain services of Abra, a participant will be able to transfer money using any smart device.
Also, the cost of transfer will be drastically less and is estimated at a meager 0.25% of the value.
Abra Blockchain as a service platform will also enable users to convert the digital currency into a local currency. This way, users can swap currency effortlessly thereby rendering ATM’s obsolete.
IBM Bluemix – Blockchain as a Service
IBM has also announced entering into ‘Blockchain as a service’ market with the IBM Bluemix.
The IBM blockchain is a public cloud service. IBM has claimed that the IBM blockchain as a service will allow developers to use software modules as per their needs and preferences.
This hyper ledger facility also allows added security features and higher identity management tools.
This blockchain service will also allow smart contracts to be written in popular languages like Java or Golang.
IBM also offers additional security features inside the IBM cloud. Some of these features include
- Separate the ledger from the cloud computing environment
- Enclosing the ledger in a digital security container
- Using tamper responsive hardware
What’s Next in Blockchain
The Blockchain is a fascinating technology with widespread uses in financial services, medical sector, and numerous avenues.
This is still a developing service and is at a very nascent stage. Globally, many companies are working out ways to improve its applications and make it a regular everyday phenomenon.
It is also a question whether decentralization will be globally accepted? This question is sprung up simply given that the fact that money management stems from an element of control.
Decentralization will disrupt this element of control. When used as a medium to carry out transactions effectively and efficiently, Blockchain as a service can be a boon to the global market.
However, it also has the capacity to replace the existing system. Cryptocurrency can also replace the current monetary system. If not properly developed and monitored this may make the present system extremely unstable.