Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is an offering that allows customers to leverage cloud-based solutions to build, host and use their own blockchain apps, smart contracts and functions on the blockchain while the cloud-based service provider manages all the necessary tasks and activities to keep the infrastructure agile and operational.
It’s an important concept and plays a big role in the development of future blockchain products. As of today, we’re seeing more and more enterprise and Fortune 500 companies building solutions for enterprise-level blockchain. This ranges from consulting companies to Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft.
Individuals and businesses are increasingly willing to adapt to blockchain technology. However, the technical complexities and operational overhead involved in creating, configuring, and operating the blockchain, and maintaining its infrastructure, often act as deterrents to its mass adoption. Along with leading tech giants, many startups are now offering a viable solution to this problem through the Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) model.
How does blockchain as a service work?
BaaS is when an external service provider sets up all the necessary “blockchain technology and infrastructure” for a customer for a fee. By paying for BaaS, a client pays the BaaS provider to set up and maintain blockchain connected nodes on their behalf. A BaaS provider handles the complex back-end for the client and their business.
The BaaS operator takes care of keeping all the important blockchain-related artifacts and the infrastructure up and running. It also includes support activities like bandwidth management, suitable allocation of resources, hosting requirements, and provides security features like the prevention of hacking attempts. By using a BaaS model, the client can now focus on their core job – the functionality of their blockchain – instead of worrying about infrastructure and performance related issues.
BaaS may be the necessary catalyst that can lead to a much wider and deeper penetration of blockchain technology across various industry sectors and businesses. Instead of creating and running their own blockchains, a business, large or small, can now simply “outsource” the technical complex work and focus on its core activities.
Companies offering blockchain as a service
Microsoft became one of the first software vendors to offer BaaS when it launched Azure Blockchain Service in 2015. Last year it launched Enterprise Smart Contracts, which provides users with the schema, logic, counterparties, external sources, ledger, and contract binding for building their own blockchain services.
In November 2015, Microsoft and ConsenSys announced a partnership to create Ethereum blockchain as a service (EBaaS) on Microsoft Azure. The service is designed to help customers build private-, public- and consortium-based blockchain environments on Azure’s global platform.
A year later, Microsoft announced a collaboration with Blockstack Labs, ConsenSys and a variety of developers on an open source, blockchain-based identity system that allows people, products, apps and services to interoperate across blockchains, cloud providers and organizations.
Consulting giant Deloitte has a solution for businesses called Rubix Core. Rubix Core’s customized blockchain architecture is designed for building a private network customized to an industry or organization. Rubix Core offers a full stack Ethereum-compliant enterprise infrastructure as well as a set of GUI tools that make it easy to rapidly build smart contract apps.
AWS Blockchain Templates aims to help organizations and individuals quickly create and deploy blockchain networks on AWS using different blockchain frameworks.
AWS provides the simplest way to build scalable blockchain networks and ledger applications for your business.
Blockchain technologies are often used to solve two types of customer needs. In the first case, multiple parties work with a centralized, trusted authority to maintain a complete and verifiable record of transactions. An example is a retail customer looking to connect its suppliers with a centralized ledger that maintains a transparent and verifiable history of information related to the movement of a product through its supply chain. In the other case, multiple parties transact in a decentralized manner without the need for a centralized, trusted authority. An example is a consortium of banks and export houses looking to perform cross-boundary transfer of assets (e.g. letter-of-credits) amongst each other, without a centralized authority acting as a liaison.
Oracle offers an easier way to adopt blockchain and transform your enterprise with the industry’s most comprehensive and enterprise grade blockchain platform. Oracle Blockchain Platform securely extends your business processes and applications while enabling you to process business transactions much faster.
Some benefits of using their platform include:
- Enable new business models with a preassembled blockchain platform
- Rapidly onboard network participants with an enterprise-grade blockchain
- Improve transparency across your IT ecosystem with plug-and-play integrations
Innovators everywhere are creating new value and disrupting industries with the IBM Blockchain Platform, today’s most complete set of blockchain software, services, tools and sample code.
The IBM Blockchain Platform gives you everything you need to create, test, govern and manage a working blockchain network, so you can accelerate creation of blockchain applications in a variety of cloud environments.
Built on Hyperledger Fabric’s open architecture from the Linux Foundation, this Blockchain-as-a-Service platform unlocks opportunity in a hardened, security-rich, production-ready environment, including 24x7x365 IBM support.
SAP’s blockchain as a service is called “Leonardo,” which in turn is based on Hyperledger, and resides in the SAP Cloud service, so it can be accessed from any device and requires no on-premises hardware or software. SAP Leonardo functions as a blockchain cloud service, machine learning service and supports the Internet of Things (IoT) in a single ecosystem.
There is no greater testimony to the impact blockchain has than the sheer number of companies behind R3, a consortium behind a distributed financial ledger called Corda that operates like a blockchain while denying it is one. The consortium started in 2015 with financial institutions like Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Royal Bank of Scotland, and has grown to more than 70 partners, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
Corda is a specialized ledger for financial institutions to process financial transactions. The ledgers are interoperable, so software applications can communicate, exchange data and use that exchanged data.
South Korea’s Blocko has more than 90% marketshare of the enterprise blockchain market in its native country. Their blockchain-as-a-service platform, Coinstack, is used by Samsung, LG CNS, Hyundai and many of the other national giants. It set up a biometric login and payment authorization system for Lotte Card, a major South Korean credit card provider, which reduced authentication time from 7-10 minutes to 2-3 minutes, which in turn cut Lotte Card’s annual security solution expenditures to 10% of their original operating costs.
Alibaba Cloud BaaS (Blockchain as a Service) provides an enterprise-level platform service based on leading blockchain technologies. This service helps you build a secure and stable blockchain environment as well as manage the deployment, operation, maintenance, and development of blockchain easily. Alibaba Cloud BaaS enables you to focus on business innovation.
The Chinese search giant debuted its blockchain project, Totem, which manages intellectual property rights of images. Baidu hopes to launch rewards to image contributors, provide more efficient image licensing, and prevent infringements. Baidu’s lab has also released a CryptoKitties-style game called Leci Gou which features puppies.
As we can tell blockchain technology and adoption isn’t slowing down anytime soon. More and more companies are picking up blockchain as a solution to achieve quicker payments, improve security and more. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest easy to understand blockchain news and trends.