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What is Blockchain as a Service?

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) provides customers with the opportunity 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.

The service model has blended the three main types of cloud computing:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

BaaS pulls from each of these models, respectively, in the following ways:

  • Provides the hardware, storage, servers and data center space
  • Provides the operating system from which other companies can build blockchain specific software/applications on
  • Can provide the blockchain specific software/applications to their clients

The main functionality of BaaS is to allow organizations to build company-specific software/applications on the blockchain without having to invest in building the infrastructure and platform in house. As a result, we expect BaaS providers to most commonly provide IaaS and PaaS type services, with the software/application development (SaaS) being provided only in certain cases.

Pros and Cons of BaaS

The blockchain industry as a whole is facing major ‘skill shortages’ as it relates to developers, copywriters, and general expertise. Those that have the qualifications are extremely expensive and hard to come by.

In a recent study done by Garnter, they found only 1% of CIO’s at the enterprise level indicated any type of blockchain adoption within their organization. The following chart summarizes, at a broad scale, the major pros and cons of BaaS:

Pros Cons
  • Don’t need to invest in new infrastructure.
  • Helps to solve the skill shortage problem (not having to bring expertise in-house).
  • Gives SME’s all the way to Enterprise level businesses the flexibility to develop blockchain-specific software/applications.
  • Security of the blockchain technology itself (Ex: bugs during development) puts BaaS providers under extreme scrutiny.
  • BaaS is sold like a SaaS, and is typically a ‘one size fits all’ solution, which poses challenges for complex organizations that don’t fit a specific use case.

Current providers – how are they doing it

The goal of current providers is to facilitate a broader adoption of blockchain and get people using it as a means to generate a feedback loop to further progression. Understanding the use cases is the next big problem to solve as there are no well defined use cases yet…

Big Providers are racing for first mover advantage, each of whom has an interim solution. These providers are:

Provider Date Launched
Amazon April, 2018
Microsoft August, 2018
Oracle October, 2017
IBM March, 2017
SAP June 2018


Sidepart as a Service (SPaaS)

We’re here to bring you up to date information that helps you make the right decisions for your business. Our team will help you communicate the added value derived from blockchain to your customers and showcase your willingness to be forward thinking.

Interested in learning more about what’s in the market today? Stay tuned – our next blockchain focused piece will give you a side-by-side comparison of the major players and what their value prop is!

Dana Doswell

Author Dana Doswell

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