Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). What is it?

Technology solutions are increasingly available as rentable, cloud-hosted services. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), for example, offers enterprises the ability to rent technology infrastructure that is based on a remote server farm.

While never owning the underlying equipment, companies have substantial control over the infrastructure plus access to the supplier’s knowledge and resources. Many IaaS arrangements will also include the provision of extensive infrastructure management and support.

Similarly, blockchain as a service gives enterprises the ability to rent blockchain infrastructure in the cloud. In other words, the hardware and software required to run blockchain applications are fully provisioned, extensively managed, and hosted by the service provider. Many of the well-known cloud service providers are offering BaaS.

Blockchain is not a new technology, but enterprise operations are still finding it difficult to get the right resources in place to take advantage of what blockchain has to offer.

Renting blockchain infrastructure in the shape of BaaS allows technology managers to instantly acquire much of the skills required to operate blockchain infrastructure. Simultaneously, the investment required to dabble in blockchain is substantially lowered: a BaaS service agreement can be scaled or completely terminated at short notice.

As a result, CTOs have a way to test the benefits of blockchain without spending large sums up front or committing to permanent hires. It provides a way forward for enterprises that want to stay at the bleeding edge of technology without taking on unnecessary risks.

Here are some of the real-world applications that can be tested and hosted on BaaS platforms:

  • Documentation tracking. Blockchain provides an immutable, distributed documentation tracking system. In other words, where documentation is key to transacting blockchain can ensure that all participants have equivalent access to the same information. Plus, blockchain is immutable, in other words, no participant can change records – everyone is assured that documents are correct and secure.
  • Data storage. With data stored in a decentralised blockchain there is less risk of data loss, while blockchains are uniquely scalable. Highly regulated industries benefit from the secure, immutable characteristics of storing data on the blockchain.
  • Contract execution. Alongside smart contracts blockchain can provide a platform for contract execution that enables high levels of transparency. The distributed nature of blockchain implies all parties are equally informed as there is a “single source of truth”. As a result, contracts are processed more efficiently, allowing conclusion and payment to occur without delay.

The flexibility of blockchain and its associated technologies lends itself to many applications that are yet to be discovered. BaaS provides an opportunity for enterprises to find these applications without making large commitments.

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