Initially coined by Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain was the technology behind the digital currency, bitcoin but with the increasing advancements, today the technology has opened up new avenues across the internet.
According to Don Tapscott, blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value. In simple terms, think of a distributed database or spreadsheet which replicates thousands of times across a network of computers which work to regularly update the ledger. And because there is no central location for storage, it simply becomes impossible for hackers to corrupt the data and confidential public records.
Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)
BaaS can be simply defined as an entity used to set up all of your blockchain tech. All you need to do is choose a reliable BaaS provider and leave the confusing backend of your business to them.
In addition to this, utilizing BaaS allows customers to leverage cloud-based solutions to build, host and use their own blockchain apps, smart contracts, and functions on the blockchain whereas cloud-based service tends to manage all the necessary task and activities in order to keep the infrastructure agile and operational.
Visit Innovation Enterprise's Modern Data Management 2019 Summit in San Francisco on February 26–27, 2018
Understand its working
Like I said before, BaaS is an external service provider which has the potential to set up all the necessary requirements in context with blockchain technology and infrastructure. Right from keeping all the important blockchain-related artifacts and the infrastructure up and running to supporting a plethora of activities like bandwidth management, suitable allocation of resources, hosting requirements, and the tech offers it all.
Consider a software application development company that provides services which allows one to focus on the core job instead of worrying about infrastructure and performance related issues.
I personally find BaaS quite similar to that of a web hosting provider. It starts from building a fantastic website that's capable of earning millions of hits. You can either host or run the website on your own computer/server from your own office and take care of all the maintenance and support work yourself or by hiring support staff or else consider web hosting providers like Amazon Web Services or HostGator. They will take good care of your software applications, infrastructure and maintenance issues. I am sure you will go with the second option and Baas does exactly the same. It allows you to focus on your core website functionality.
The BaaS market
In the present scenario, blockchain certainly doesn’t suffer from a lack of attention from any industry ranging from banks to pure tech players like IBM and Microsoft. Further below I would like to mention two companies which have already taken enterprise-grade experimentation with blockchain to a whole new level.
1. Microsoft Azure- Ethereum BaaS
In the year 2015, Microsoft and ConsenSys successfully entered a partnership in creating Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) on Azure. The service simply aimed to empower corporate clients, partners, and developers to experiment with distributed ledger technology by offering them "a single-click, cloud-based blockchain developer environment." In fact, EBaaS by Microsoft Azure allows several parties to play, learn and fail fast at a low cost in a ready-made dev/test/production environment. Other than experimenting, it allows them to create private-, public- and consortium-based blockchain environments using industry-leading frameworks very quickly, distributing their blockchain products with Azure’s World Wide distributed (private) platform.
2. Deloitte- Rubix
Deloitte's solution allows no prototype, test and build customized blockchain and smart contract application for any use case. In fact, featuring a customized blockchain architecture, Rubix can be considered as a fully functional private network that can be managed and administered for an organization’s needs. With a variety of powerful and customizable features and settings, Rubix can be used in enterprise environments.
The growing list of BaaS
This year Google announced its partnership that would allow the multinational technology company to offer a cloud-based platform where they can develop and run blockchain-based applications. Several companies ranging from Amazon to IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP joins the pack which are meant to help businesses in adapting and utilizing such technology. And that’s the reason why BaaS could be the next big thing for business-to-business companies.