Redefining Blockchain as a Service — Baas Landscape Infographic

Redefining Blockchain as a Service — Beyond Buzzwords

Today, the “Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)” term is being used interchangeably by various organizations to refer to entirely different offerings. This has led to an urgent need to define subcategories within the sector. This article proposes a new BaaS categorization in order to establish standard, common terminology.

Veronica Torras
Oct 9, 2018 · 9 min read

The “Software as a Service” Model as a Reference

Of the many “[x] as a service” models (software as a service, infrastructure as a service, cloud as a service, etc…), we’ll be focusing on the “software as a service” model (SaaS) because it is both a well-established concept, and it is most similar to the “blockchain as a service” concept.

  • Example #2: your small business would not spend thousands of dollars on a sales database. Instead, you “rent” access to a sophisticated online sales database like Salesforce.
  • Example #3: you decide to start a gym in your hometown, and need computer tools for your receptionist, financial controller, salespeople, and personal trainers. Instead you “rent or pay” for online tools that streamline business processes such as scheduling, timesheet tracking, and accounting.
  1. You save storage space and maintenance costs because the software does not need to be installed locally on your computer
  2. You can access your SaaS applications from different locations and devices

Analysis of the BaaS market

For those who are new to the concept of a blockchain, a blockchain is:

  • It is verifiable — only valid transactions can be recorded on the blockchain through a security consensus shared by a network of nodes
  • The database is decentralized — there is not one copy of the ledger, instead, every node has the same copy of the ledger
  • It is immutable — recorded transactions can’t be altered or erased
  1. Software — the blockchain includes permission, business-ready features
  2. Decentralized network
Redefining Blockchain as a Service — Blockchain Key Components Infographic

BaaS landscape: who is on the playground?

BaaS is a very new thing, and there is not much written about the blockchain as a service model at this moment. In general, the BaaS term refers to situations where an external service provider provides the necessary templates and back-end technology for launching and maintaining a private blockchain network.

Redefining Blockchain as a Service — Cloud BaaS and Full BaaS Categories Infographic

So, who is in the playground?

The Cloud BaaS category

In this first category, Cloud BaaS, we find companies offering storage and software. This means your company gets access to all the tools you need to launch a private blockchain; however, the responsibility for hosting a decentralized network of nodes remains with your business or consortium.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Templates

It provides a fast and easy way to create and deploy secure blockchain networks using popular open-source frameworks. The service basically consists of a cloud service (storage) providing the Hyperledger and Ethereum pre-configured templates already installed and set up to make the deployment of a blockchain easy.

Microsoft Azure

It offers a simplified development environment and easy experimentation with prebuilt networks and infrastructure. Azure is oriented to configure and deploy a consortium network easily.

IBM Bluemix

It is a flexible software as a service offering that is delivered via the IBM Cloud. It simplifies your blockchain journey of developing, governing, and operating a network.

Oracle Autonomous Blockchain Cloud Service

It is a distributed cloud ledger platform to provision blockchain networks, join other organizations, and deploy and run smart contracts.

Consortium of banks — Digital Trade Chain (DTC)

The Full BaaS Category

The second category, called Full BaaS, offers not only storage and applications but also decentralization, offering end-to-end blockchain as a service. In the Full BaaS model, businesses can outsource all three components of the blockchain development process — saving valuable time and resources.

Ardor Blockchain as a Service Platform

Ardor is a scalable multi-chain platform that uses the energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. Ardor allows businesses to reduce costs and time-to-market by deploying a permissioned child chain with a custom selection of built-in features and instant security provided by the Ardor parent chain’s network of nodes. The innovative parent-child chain (also called multi-chain) architecture is the main characteristic that makes it possible for Ardor to offer not only cloud storage and client software, like Azure, AWS, etc…, but it also provides instant usage of a decentralized network of nodes from day one without taking care of the maintenance and system administration. Hence, businesses can focus more on leveraging the blockchain to add value to their service offerings, while focusing less on the intricacies of their own blockchain network.

  • Every child chain can correspond to an organization. Every organization has its own token and can operate with a fully customizable blockchain within the Ardor ecosystem.
  • Every child chain is connected to the parent chain through transaction “bundlers.” A Bundler is a feature that allows nodes to collect fees in company tokens when they bundle company transactions and then pay the Ardor fees in ARDR tokens to the Ardor parent chain.
Redefining Blockchain as a Service — Ardor multi-chain platform Infographic
Redefining Blockchain as a Service — Ardor Bundlers Infographic
Redefining Blockchain as a Service — Baas Landscape Infographic

Other BaaS in development

Notice that there are other companies or organizations that have announced via press releases or have mentioned in their whitepapers their intention and ideas for building a full blockchain as a service. It is the intention of legit and well-recognized entities or projects like SAP that is working on its SAP Cloud Service called Leonardo, or Stratis. There are other projects, like Kaleido, that are even in an earlier stage since they are companies incorporated very recently with no track record of performance of the team. However, since none of these projects are a working product yet, we will avoid talking about them at the moment. We will keep this article updated when any of them reach the market.

  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/buzzword
  2. https://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/software-as-a-service-saas/
  3. https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-saas-software-2483600
  4. https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3871416
  5. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blockchainasaservice-baas.asp
  6. http://uk.businessinsider.com/blockchain-digital-trade-chain-ibm-hyperledger-deutsche-bank-hsbc-soc-gen-2017-6?IR=T

Ardor

Ardor is a scalable multichain platform based on a…

Ardor

Ardor is a scalable multichain platform based on a Blockchain-as-a-service model and designed for broad business adoption. The parent-child chain architecture allows companies to build their products using child chains while relying on the parent chain. https://medium.com/@lyaffe

Veronica Torras

Written by

Blockchain business development, strategic partnerships, consultancy services. Blockchain Trainer. Startup advisor. Community and events organizer. Traveler.

Ardor

Ardor is a scalable multichain platform based on a Blockchain-as-a-service model and designed for broad business adoption. The parent-child chain architecture allows companies to build their products using child chains while relying on the parent chain. https://medium.com/@lyaffe

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