Is Azure Blockchain Cloud the future of Cloud Computing?
Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is the new and experimental cloud technology service which Microsoft Azure is offering for its Platform as a Service (PaaS) customers. It is trying to create a marketplace for the blockchain, the distributed ledger technology on which bitcoin is built. IBM is the other adopter of this new cloud service, through its Bluemix Cloud service.
Sysfore can give you all the facts about Bitcoin cloud technology. Before going into how Bitcoin cloud works, you need to understand what the Bitcoin technology is.
What is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the currency of the Internet. It is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever. It is completely decentralized, with no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. Due to this decentralized nature it is resistant to wild inflation and corrupt banks. You can be your own bank.
What is A Blockchain?
A Blockchain is a decentralized ledger (database of transactions) powering Bitcoin-like digital currencies. This ledger is public and duplicated across a “peer to peer network” while maintaining a coherent state (agreed upon by all participants) without requiring trust or a central authority. The inherent redundancy of duplicating the entire ledger on every node of the network removes the single point of failure common to traditional databases.
Transaction validity is ensured cryptographically. In this Bitcoin network, the incoming transactions are bundled into a new “block”, after a specified time. The chain of blocks (hence “blockchain”) constitutes the agreed upon state of the ledger.
Changing a block becomes difficult, the deeper it is in the chain. The blockchain security depends on the computing power that secures the network through the process of “mining” new blocks. To change the state of the ledger, requires a lot of computational resources to overwhelm the rest of the network.
BaaS Benefits of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Maintenance on Cloud:
The Blockchain as a Service model (BaaS) is still an experimental cloud service model, but it represents a changing perception in the mainstream adoption of Blockchain technologies. Pioneered by IBM and Microsoft, there are some of the benefits of this model such as:
- Seamless blockchain provisioning experience: Both Bluemix and Azure provide a very simple model to create blockchain as part of its PaaS environments.
- Elastic scalability: BaaS models simplify the experience of adding and removing nodes to a blockchain network.
- Global availability: By leveraging technologies like Azure and Bluemix, developers can provision blockchains in any region of the world. No restriction on time or geographical location for accessing the Ledger details.
- Interoperability with other PaaS services: BaaS models facilitate the implementation of blockchain applications that leverage many of the existing PaaS services in a consistent manner.
- Sophisticated DevOps experience: The experience of deploying, managing and operating blockchain networks becomes simpler in PaaS environments.
- Simpler programming models: By abstracting the underlying blockchain infrastructure, BaaS platform should be able to offer simpler programming models to create blockchain applications.
- Stringent security measures: Ledgers cannot be viewed by unauthorized party.
- Universal access to all who are part of the transaction processing only.
- Cost effective solutions – Database maintenance cost for the Financial and Non-Financial Institution will be nearly NIL. Institutions will overcome need to buy a bigger data base and space.
- Effective disaster recovery solutions, transparency of data and transactions, no data loss concerns.
Future of Blockchain Technology
While Blockchain technology is most closely associated with cryptocurrencies, the potential uses of the decentralized and distributed ledger software, which can store complete transaction histories, are much wider. Applications in the financial industry, real estate, back office systems and stock trading are all being investigated by a range of companies at the moment.
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