Blockchain has joined the long list of technologies that are available “as a Service.” In DevPro Journal’s series on blockchain, including Blockchain 101: An ISV’s Guide and 4 Steps to Becoming a Blockchain Developer, you can find links to companies that have established Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offerings to help meet the growing demand for this technology.
Industries from finance and healthcare to nonprofits and entertainment are looking for talented developers to help them unlock blockchain’s potential. Although first widely associated with Bitcoin, there are myriad applications, some in practice, some theoretical, for a distributed database that allows participants to conduct secure transactions, validating the participant’s identity and almost instantaneously notifying everyone in the network of updates to the blockchain.
The Advantages of Blockchain as a Service for Users
Demand for blockchain development is currently outpacing resources with blockchain expertise, and BaaS provides a way for companies to develop a blockchain faster and more easily. Companies that offer BaaS have crafted user-friendly sites that guide you through blockchain development, step-by-step, and in some cases provide you with code, modules, templates and design guidance. They may also help you easily integrate the blockchain you create with their solutions.
There are other advantages to opting for a Blockchain as a Service offering:
- It eliminates the need for experience to build a blockchain from the ground up—a lot of the heavy lifting is already done.
- You use it on a subscription basis, so a lower upfront investment is required.
- BaaS providers can assist with deployment, maintaining and scaling the solution.
- You can leverage the provider’s security solutions.
With less of an investment required to create a blockchain, another significant advantage is lower risk. With the technology still in the earliest stages of adoption, there is still much uncertainty, and trial and error are commonplace. A Deloitte study of GitHub found more than 90,000 projects on the network as of October 2017, but only 8% of them were still active.
With BaaS, companies have a more cost-effective way to test the technology for their applications. If a company decides a project is not feasible, they can cancel their BaaS subscription rather than reallocate staff and abandon infrastructure they invested in for the project.
The Advantages of Becoming a Blockchain as a Service Provider
Companies that are among the first to launch BaaS offerings are certainly providing a needed service in the industries they serve, but they’re more than philanthropic. They’re smart. The As a Service model has a raft of benefits for the provider company.
Although time will tell how successful BaaS will turn out to be, the potential is there for providers to establish long-term business relationships with their blockchain customers, providing ongoing services that build a continuing revenue stream. In addition, creating an offering meant for multiple users will enable a more significant return on investment. Some companies include ancillary or complementary services such as consulting or education that could help build loyal, lasting partnerships—even beyond blockchain to grow sales or integrations with their established services or solutions.
Opportunity for ISVs of Any Size
Many companies that have entered the BaaS space are major players, but it’s worth noting that smaller companies are also launching BaaS offerings. Whether you aspire to join those ranks or plan to align with a BaaS provider as an ISV partner, there is an opportunity for you to play a role in your clients’ blockchain application development.
What is your vision for BaaS in your ISV’s future?