A blockchain is a linked list of blocks, where each block contains several transactions. Each of the blocks contains a hash of the previous block. Hash is a cryptographic fingerprint that uniquely identifies a block and all its content. If only one bit of the block changes, the hash value changes as well, which effectively breaks the chain and invalidates all subsequent blocks and transactions.
Blockchain is currently the technology that is going to disrupt the model of business networks. Gartner predicts blockchain will add $360 billion in value to the global economy by 2026, and a whopping $3.1 trillion by 2030. Cloud-based service providers are providing the infrastructure, networking, and development tools to build blockchain business networks. These are known as Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). There are a handful of players who are operating in this sector at present and helping the businesses to come together to embrace changes seamlessly.
IBM provides one of the most mature blockchain services. The IBM Blockchain Platform is built on the Linux Foundation’s open-source community-based Hyperledger Fabric, which came into existence in December 1995. Hyperledger runs a program called The Hyperledger Certified Service Provider (HCSP) program to pre-qualify tier of vetted service providers for providing their deep experience to help other enterprises successfully adopt Hyperledger. The HCSP partners offer Hyperledger support, consulting, professional services, and training for organizations embarking on their Hyperledger journey.
Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service for creating and managing blockchain networks and network resources using open-source frameworks like Hyperledger and Ethereum. Once the business work is up and running, the Managed Blockchain service makes it easy to manage and maintain the blockchain network.
Oracle Blockchain Platform Cloud Service provides a pre-assembled platform for running smart contracts and maintaining a tamper-proof distributed ledger. This is built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric which makes it easy to build secure and verifiable applications.
SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain integrates into existing enterprise blockchain platforms like Hyperledger fabric and Multichain. SCP Blockchain connects to any supported blockchain network via a cloud service on SAP Cloud Platform. SAP HANA Blockchain establishes a link between this cloud service and SAP HANA, to represent on chain data in SAP HANA. This BaaS is offered to the SAP customers since October 2018.
HP Enterprise is providing the BaaS to its customers since 2017. Also, the VMware Blockchain promises enterprise-grade reliability, scalability, ease of deployment monitoring and management. The other upcoming names in this sector of service are R3 and Alibaba.
As the business models are going to get change because of the impact of blockchain, BaaS provides a good platform for experimentation and converting the business network onto a fully digitised platform including the rules which bind the organizations in the business network together.
Dr. Sukanya Kundu
Alliance School of Business