Tech Firms Bring Blockchain As A Service To All Sorts Of Companies

Blockchain technology isn’t only for buying and selling cryptocurrencies or for cross-border payments. Increasingly some of the nation’s biggest technology players are rolling out Blockchain as a Service, enabling all size businesses to capitalize on the technology.

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Blockchain is widely known as the technology that underpins digital tokens but it is being applied in a range of markets and use cases. In essence, blockchain is a digital, decentralized public ledger of all the transactions that are recorded and added to the block in chronological order. It enables participants in the blockchain to keep track of transactions without the need for a central recordkeeping. While blockchain enables cryptocurrency it is also finding uses in accounting, voting, quality assurance and protecting against counterfeits to name a few.

Google Entered The Fray This Summer

Recognizing the use cases for this technology is growing, at the end of July Google announced enhancements to its cloud computing offering by rolling out a platform in which customers can develop and run blockchain applications. In a blog post at the time, Google said launch partners include Digital Assets and BlockApps. But Google isn’t alone. It has tough competition in the market with Amazon, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP all offering their own BaaS platforms. In China Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, the country’s largest e-commerce player, announced in late September it was building a BaaS platform. Meanwhile late last month Walmart announced it tapped IBM to develop a blockchain platform to ensure suppliers are meeting the retailer’s new food safety requirements. Suppliers of romaine lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens by the fall of 2019 will need to have implemented food traceability through IBM’s blockchain focused on the global food supply chain. In addition to that, blockchain can create smart contracts to track delivery of products or they can be used in real estate for the transfer of titles when purchasing a home.

BaaS Enables Companies To Test Projects

The idea behind the tech companies BaaS offerings is the same as with cloud storage or hardware: they want to give businesses the benefits of using blockchain technology without taking on the costs from developing and managing it in-house. That could be an attractive proposition for business-to-business companies that want to try out blockchain but don't have the desire or the means to make a big upfront investment. With BaaS companies can test their blockchain ideas without the development costs. According to Forbes, a good blockchain developer earned anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 last year with developers commanding hourly rates of $40 to $200 if not more. These services also enable B2B companies to delve into blockchain even if it isn’t the main focus and to combat the shortage of blockchain experienced workers. Because the market is still in its early stages there is a dearth of skilled workers. That prevents companies of all sizes from engaging more deeply with blockchain. According to Research and Markets, the BaaS market is projected to have compounded annual growth rate of more than 15% from 2018 through 2023.