Blockchain technology is actively developing, but most companies that want to use it face many obstacles: the technology is new, relatively unknown, and its implementation entails organisational risks. However, the main problem lies in the practical plane — there are not so many professional blockchain experts, but they are expensive.
Nevertheless, the interest in implementing the blockchain and the real difficulties of this process has led some companies to start offering Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) to a business that prefers to outsource the development of blockchain solutions.
What is Blockchain as a Service?
BaaS is a cloud-based service that enables users to develop their own digital products by working with blockchain. BaaS is identical to more established concepts, such as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and one of the most common — SaaS (Software as a Service). All of them, in fact, provide a common advantage — cost reduction, because the business pays a fixed amount for connecting or using ready-made and simple solution. BaaS can be used to make various digital products: these may be smart contracts, decentralized applications (dApps), or even other services that can work without any setup requirements of the complete blockchain-based infrastructure.
Let’s consider the top BaaS vendors.
The IBM Blockchain Platform is a comprehensive managed service blockchain offering, available in a variety of environments, including IBM Cloud, on-premises and third-party cloud environments. With its help, participants can manage the network, design, operate, and develop it in compliance with the most stringent performance and security requirements in regulated industries. Among existing clients of IBM Blockchain are companies from supply chains, insurance, banking, and finance industries.
Azure Blockchain Service is a blockchain application development platform hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. On this popular BaaS platform, businesses can “develop, test, and deploy secure blockchain apps.” This has helped Microsoft to attract a wide range of high-level partners such as Ripple and BitPay and has seen the platform become one of the go-to BaaS solutions for industry proofs-of-concept.
Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service that allows you to configure and manage a scalable blockchain network with just a few clicks. Amazon Managed Blockchain eliminates the overhead required to build a network and automatically scales to meet the needs of thousands of applications running millions of transactions. Amazon has the resources to support thousands of blockchain applications on a scale that provides a steady stream of large customers such as BMW, Accenture, and Singapore Exchange.
In 2019, Baidu introduced its own blockchain as a service platform, in which someone who deployed their own hosted blockchain network participated. But by providing technical support, he found that it was difficult for organizations and developers to create a blockchain network. Baidu is committed to enabling SMEs and developers to deploy distributed applications (dApps) without having to set up a blockchain network. Baidu also provides templates to facilitate the development of smart blockchain contracts, as well as other tools. The XuperChain protocol supports smart contracts using the Solidity language.
Alibaba Cloud BaaS provides an enterprise-level platform service based on cutting-edge blockchain technology. This service helps you create a safe and stable blockchain environment, as well as easily manage the deployment, operation, maintenance, and development of the blockchain. Alibaba Cloud BaaS lets you focus on business innovation. Using Quorum, Hyperledger Fabric, and Ant Blockchain, the platform integrates IoT and Alibaba Cloud counterfeit products to create, among other things, blockchain solutions for product tracking.