Blockchain as a Service explained in 2020.
What is Blockchain as a Service? (BaaS)
Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is the fastest way for a start-up or business to get started building blockchain applications. Blockchain-as-a-Service providers handle all of the setup and hosting of the blockchain through the cloud. This enables developers, entrepreneurs, and enterprises to focus on building applications and coding smart contracts, rather than on the operational aspects of blockchain. BaaS has been embraced by large cloud vendors like AWS, Azure, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Oracle as they look to continue to expand their cloud offerings. Most of these offerings are geared to sell more cloud services and storage -- and therefore possibly missing some key elements necessary to leverage the capabilities of the underlying technology. Additionally, blockchain specific vendors such as ourselves, Dragonchain, also offers BaaS with a host of others making a play as well.
BaaS offerings preferred.
BaaS is quickly becoming the preferred business model for providers and customers alike as it not only significantly reduces the cost. It also reduces risk. On top of that it enables a faster time to market for testing and launching blockchain applications and smart contracts. For example, Amazon AWS offers templates using Hyperledger or Ethereum for those looking to build on a private or public network respectively. If you’re not already familiar with blockchain, we recommend that you read our in-depth article on the different types of blockchains.
What is Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)? What are some of the blockchain platforms that provide BaaS? And more importantly, why is the adoption of Blockchain as a Service among enterprises and traditional developers becoming their preferred foundation. In this article, we’ll explore various platform providers and what differentiates them.
Blockchain as a Service is the backbone of blockchain applications. It allows you to focus on the development of your blockchain applications by leveraging the managed services of a scalable blockchain cloud service infrastructure.
Think of blockchain as what Android or iOS is for your smartphone. Or Windows, Linux and macOS for your computer. Perhaps also relatable, the web hosting provider for your website(s). Do you want to run and host these websites on your own computer or server? Or would you rather let a cloud-based hosting provider such as AWS take care of server maintenance and support? Using BaaS, you can build your own blockchain applications on top of our blockchain platform, without having to worry about security and updates. The service provider takes care of that, giving you the flexibility and ability to scale and migrate quicker.
Flexibility, scalability and interoperability
With Dragonchain, you can simply spin up your node in real-time, which is your own private blockchain, without limitations in terms of flexibility and interoperability. From there, you can either use existing and vetted smart contracts from the library, or have your developers create their own custom smart contracts in languages they already know for years. On Dragonchain, custom smart contracts can be written in any language that your developers are familiar with. This is a unique capability of Dragonchain and helps lower time to market. For Dragonchain’s Blockchain as a Service, we focus on key features for our users that include a wide range of benefits.
- Interchain (Interoperability)
- Protection of business data
- Ease of use
In short, BaaS allows you to focus on building the applications you need, without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. It’s a cloud-based solution where you can host your own blockchains, smart contracts, (decentralized) applications and other functions. We manage all the necessary tasks and activities to keep your blockchain solutions operational. All you have to focus on is the core functionality of your own blockchain(s).
Companies Offering Blockchain as a Service
Nowadays, you can find blockchain solutions offered as services across a wide range of providers. Blockchain often requires participation of various stakeholders. Thanks to Dragonchain’s patented Interchain technology and flexible interoperability mechanism, it’s possible to interact with public blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum or even private blockchains such as Private Ethereum or Hyperledger.
Dragonchain’s Blockchain as a Service
Dragonchain, delivered as a service, is empowering business as an enterprise-class blockchain platform built with advanced technologies including tokenized micro licenses, Dragon Net (network consensus), Interchain, and built on the fundamentals of blockchain to redefine security and privacy of applications and smart contracts. Dragonchain is combing innovation and the advantages of blockchain technology to help businesses develop, test, and deploy enterprise blockchain applications faster and gain time-to-market advantage.
Blockchain Platform for enterprises and developers.
Dragonchain is a commercial blockchain as a service offering, based on open source contributed by Disney, featuring RESTful API, smart contracts (Java, Python, Node, C#, Go), full tokenization support, tokenized micro-license, Interchain (BTC, ETH, ETC, neo), cloud scale, low transaction cost.
- Developer-friendly, Enterprise-ready.
- Private / Public Hybrid Model
- Built with privacy and GDPR-ready
- Cloud scale
- Low transaction cost
Dragonchain is a fully managed multi-cloud platform for businesses to build blockchain applications and write smart contracts in a way that is fast, flexible, and secure. Delivered as a service, Dragonchain enables businesses to realize the benefits of blockchain technology faster, while simplifying integration and overcoming security challenges with a hybrid public/private approach to security.
Managed Service Providers
Azure has a unique way of packaging things for building enterprise blockchain applications such as a blockchain workbench. Azure Blockchain Workbench is an apt service for those who would like to run blockchain applications, without having to set up networks and infrastructures. Through the Azure workbench, they offer “automatic ledger deployment, network construction and pre-built blockchain commands” that’s ideally meant for developers looking to test and get started with blockchain. In addition, developers have access to Azure’s Active Directory for managing private keys and blockchain identities. Since Azure is “agnostic”, they have a range of protocol options for users to experiment with.
Azure’s workbench offers the following:
- Support for Corda, Ethereum and Hyperledger blockchains.
- Smart contracts
- User interface for management of blockchain nodes
- Management of user roles
- An active directory that maps user identities to blockchains identities
IBM uses a permissioned blockchain infrastructure to provide a modular architecture, execution of smart contracts, configurable consensus and membership services.
Some of IBM’s most prominent features include:
- Permissioned membership where every participant has a known identity.
- Data is partitioned and provided on a need to know basis.
- Hyperledger offers a complete set of query language used to query the ledger in a business friendly language.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon offers a fully managed blockchain service focused on scalability. The managed service is available using Hyperledger and Ethereum as the underlying protocols. They also offer blockchain templates, which are outside of the managed service for users who do not need a fully managed service. AWS has a limited number of blockchain technology partners but it is not as extensive as the Azure marketplace.
The limitations of other blockchain solution providers
Blockchain as a service companies face a lot of pressure to install, deploy, and manage their environments in a quick and effective manner. Furthermore, the environments are in need of constant upkeep. The wide variety of browsers, application servers, databases, firewalls and hardware make it difficult to provide agnostic support.
Here are some of the issues that blockchain as a service companies need to overcome:
- Arduous, error prone and complicated installation processes, which may take several days to hone
- Scaling issues unique to blockchain technology (e.g. throughput, fees, storage)
- Network fee inconsistencies on public networks (e.g. Ethereum)
- Network environments that are difficult to administer and support
- The need to apply maintenance and security patches on many environments
- Making timely updates and communicating changes to users
- Inadequate or inconsistent support for all networks
- Inconsistencies in deployment
- Inconsistencies in blockchain system updates
- No Interchain to communicate with other blockchains
To avoid these problems, you might want to explore Dragonchain’s BaaS platform that offers enterprise-grade security and scalability with fast deployment.
Benefits of Dragonchain's Blockchain as a Service:
- Deploy nodes and smart contracts to the network quickly
- Create and deploy new blockchain applications in minutes
- Create and update smart contracts
- Create one or more internal currencies quickly
- Create and integrate external currencies (e.g. Ethereum) into traditional systems
- Make new additions to the platform without server interruptions.
- Access technical support when self-deploying.
- Seamlessly roll back to previous versions
- Protect sensitive business data
- Create applications that can honor local and international privacy regulations (e.g. GDPR, health data HIPAA, financial data)
- Use arbitrarily large transaction payloads
Adoption and Expected Growth for Global Blockchain Spending
Blockchain is becoming a key technology for many businesses. Some sectors that are likely to utilize blockchain technology include supply-chain, fintech, telecommunication, consumer products, technology/IoT, media and health care.
Recent studies indicate that about 33% of C-level executives are either already using or considering using blockchain for their enterprises; to enable new transaction applications that would boost trust, transparency and accountability among their partners and organizations.
Considering blockchain’s ability to digitize assets, we can only expect more disruptions in hundreds of industries that previously relied on intermediaries including real estate, banking, healthcare, finance, legal, insurance among others.
- By 2025, the estimated global revenue from enterprise blockchain networks will rise from \$2.5 billion to 19.9 billion
- By 2026, the business value added by blockchain will increase to more than $360 billion and this figure will grow to more than $3.1 trillion by 2030
- 90% of payment companies plan on adopting technology by 2020
- More than 30% of Americans believe cryptocurrency allows access to cost effective and faster financial services