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My topic of discussion in this article is Blockchain as a Service or simply BaaS. BaaS has lately become a hot topic among blockchain developers and blockchain enterprises alike.
Before, going in our topic and start discussing about Blockchain as a Service, I feel, we should demystify the blockchain technology.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain in itself is a complicated and big topic to discuss. However, we will just have a look at the blockchain features which makes it a hot topic.
Blockchain is a decentralized (distributed) ledger on the internet to keep a record of all the transactions which take place on a peer-to-peer network. The decentralised ledger is a database of immutable records. Transactions are protected with strong cryptographic algorithms in this ledger. The network is maintained by a consensus algorithm.
This innovative technology allows participants to transfer assets on the internet without the need for any authentication from a third (centralized) party. This is the reason it is called peer-to-peer transactions technology.
In simple words, I can define blockchain as a chain of blocks where each block contains some information. The information is a timestamp digital document which is not possible to be backdated or tampered.
It is also called a disruptive technology because it will change and disrupt our present systems of doing business.
Please check blockchain basics in my other writings.
There are various types of blockchain like public, private and consortium blockchain. Each has some features and applicability which are different from the other.
What is Cloud Computing?
We define cloud computing as a service by delivering computing power (CPU, RAM, Storage and OS software) over the internet network. Instead of having physical computing resources at the physical location, there is a virtual network which is provided to the user.
Cloud computing decreases the operational and maintenance cost of the physical infrastructure. The cloud system provider, provides hardware and software to the user on demand.
The user can get into the cloud virtual system by simply using a web browser. The best and common example of cloud service is email services from Google, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.
Before going on BaaS, I wish to discuss a bit about cloud services terminologies.
IaaS, PaaS, SaaS are some of the common terms used in cloud computing. IaaS is Infrastructure as a Service, PaaS is Platform as a Service, SaaS is Software as a Service. BaaS or Blockchain as a Service is also in line with these cloud terminologies.
Basics of Blockchain as a Service
In simple layman’s term, I shall define a blockchain on a cloud, with intrinsic cloud features as a blockchain as a service. Thus, any blockchain provided on the cloud network by the cloud infrastructure providers to run the blockchain applications is Blockchain as a Service.
Hence, Blockchain as a Service is a unique service on the cloud. The consumers use the cloud based solutions to build, use and host the blockchain based solutions, functions and smart contracts. In gist, the cloud service provider arranges a fully functional blockchain platform for the users. The users can work on a plug-n-play model according the specific needs.
Blockchain as a Service works in a simple way, where, the service provider will setup the blockchain for us at a monthly fee. Hence, by paying for the Blockchain as a Service, we pay for deploying and maintaining our blockchain.
BaaS is gaining popularity because it makes the overall system simple. Any business or individual can subscribe to the service and create their own smart contracts on the blockchain.
Blockchain as a Service Providers
Lately, all the cloud service providers in the BaaS. I am not writing to endorse or sponsor any of the BaaS service providers. Still I will like to mention that organisation like AWS, Microsoft, IBM, SAP, HP, Oracle are some of the popular names in this service provision.
The future of the Blockchain as a Service depends on the adoption of blockchain in the industry. As more and more business look for cost-effective and convenient ways of leveraging from this new nascent technology called blockchain, it is having high probability that BaaS offerings in the market will increase and proliferate.
With this, there will be more job opportunities also for cloud infrastructure and blockchain professionals. Needless to write, but those who have knowledge of both cloud and blockchain shall be sitting on a goldmine in the future.