The Quintessential Beginner’s Guide to BaaS (Blockchain as a Service)
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The speed of technological advancement today has heralded a new era of revolution – an age which despite having several advantages have also placed business organizations under tremendous pressure to upgrade their technologies. Many businesses are also looking for ways to cut down on the cost, time and hassle involved with developing their own blockchain projects. Cost and resource constraints among other factors have stifled their ability to boost cyber skills and processes adeptly. This has also resulted in companies becoming incapable of bolstering their technology departments. Enter the Blockchain-as-a-Service companies and the cloud-based deployment model. Even though restoring these business strategy choices aren’t a cure for resolving all business challenges, they have presented a simplistic option to reduce blockchain implementation and critical infrastructure management tech challenges for companies that still rely on core IT processes, but whose core competencies do not lie in it. 

The commercial adoption and heightened popularity of Blockchain technology has attained new heights. However, it has left many corporations perplexed on how they could make use of cloud-based distributed ledger technology and leverage it to their advantage. Businesses and organizations are forced into a race to be the first to develop new IT skills due to increased pressure to stay abreast of the latest technologies, a predicament that frequently leaves them insufficiently equipped to develop and build on-premises technology and platforms.  Blockchain-as-a-service providers such as Zeeve and IBM have found success by providing easier access into these new technologies so that any company can take advantage without having extensive knowledge or resources necessary when implementing it themselves.  

A number of blockchain as a service (BaaS) companies exist to help with the mass adoption of distributed ledger technology. In this article, we would discuss all that is related to BaaS – its features, how it works, security concerns and also the benefits and advantages of having it.   

What is Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)?

The Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) can be categorized as an offering that allows business clients to leverage cloud-based solutions and also to use them to build, host, and implement applications that are based on the blockchain. The cloud-based service provider will take care of the infrastructure, such as purchasing, storing, and managing computing power and software run by the business customers using this service.

A Blockchain as a Service provider or a cloud-based service carries out all the infrastructure management and monitoring tasks of blockchain nodes to keep the system active & responsive. Vendors offering BaaS can prove to be instrumental in realizing the promises of accelerating blockchain adoption across various businesses and enterprises.  The technical challenges encountered in the way of deployment of blockchain-powered technological solutions and managing the blockchain infrastructure platform by business organizations and individuals can be resolved with the support of blockchain as a service providers. Blockchain as a Service offers services to help companies bypass the obstacles of the newest technology.

Blockchain as a Service represents an unprecedented opportunity for corporations who can hit it big by leveraging their resources and experiences, while also helping drive technological innovation in this field with input from experts on blockchain infrastructure management.  Competitors can utilize offerings from BaaS to greatly help their business act upon identified opportunities and gain a competitive edge. By utilizing blockchain as a service, you will boost the chance to become a leader within your industry. The fact that you can utilize Blockchain as a Service without significant expenses means that you can lead the change in your industry. 

Importance of Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) For Business Organizations

As blockchain technology showcases business organizations different ways to better manage their data and streamline operations, the reliance on Blockchain technologies is on the rise. However, the inherent technical complexities of blockchain technology, as well as the challenge of garnering domain expertise make it challenging for enterprises to set up as well as maintain the blockchain infrastructure. Moreover, deployment of nodes, setting up blockchain infrastructure and managing it can turn to be technically challenging for companies and organizations even in the foreseeable future, thereby forcing decision-makers to take a lot of time addressing its implementation challenges.  As a way to address this problem, we need to rely on BaaS.

Partnering with the right Blockchain service company and infrastructure partner for your business will permit you to gain access to an extensive network of skilled professionals. You can rely on great techniques and governance specialists, plus the entire IT cloud infrastructure for the development and deployment of your dApp project, without having to handle start up or overhead expenses.

Additionally, a reputable BaaS partner, in most cases, is an invaluable source of understanding and experience, which can be put to good use to make the systems more secure, reliable and hassle-free. This significantly minimizes the number of risks that we would have had to deal with had the system been developed in-house.

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) Features

  • Ensures multiple blockchain framework support, such as R3 Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, Polygon, Axia, Fantom, Tron, and Ethereum
  • Management of the architecture of a system’s hardware and software components
  • Modular, Preconfigured Networks and Infrastructure
  • Hassle-free setup of blockchain nodes
  • Dashboard for viewing and analyzing the chain code
  • Auditable Transaction Record
  • Smart Contracts Integration
  • Built-in Consortium Management to manage users of the blockchain network.
  • Monitoring of blockchain data in real-time
  • Get Highly Secured Business Process and Functionalities
  • Identity-based Consensus Mechanisms
  • Management of Different Runtimes and Frameworks
blockchain as a service

How Does the BaaS Model Work?

A BaaS partner or provider deploys the required resources and leverages the required infrastructure and technology to provide Blockchain nodes to the customer.  The BaaS partner consents to build, host nodes, develop and also monitor the necessary Blockchain technology and its infrastructure for the client in exchange for a fee specified in the contract.  

There are different blockchain networks – public, private and also permissioned on which the client can host nodes and built their dApp. Depending upon the requirements and the appeal of the blockchain protocols, a client may choose to go with public networks such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, or even business enterprise friendly permissioned networks peer-to-peer (P2P) distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms such as Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda, BNB Chain, Axia, Polygon or Tron

In addition, a Blockchain as a Service partner assumes and manages all the crucial Blockchain-related tasks and safeguards the infrastructure. Clients on a contract with a BaaS provider can also get assistance on several support services such as monitoring of nodes, preventive measures against hacking attempts, optimization of resources, management of bandwidth and also incident management. 

A Blockchain as a Service model allows businesses to invest time to think about company strategy and competition strategies while handling the execution of Distributed Ledgers and crucial fault tolerance. Eventually, it helps companies work on growth leaving BaaS partners to manage the complex systems.

Cost of Self-Hosted Blockchains vs Cost of BaaS Offering

BaaS cost models depend on a variety of factors, but, at best, a Blockchain node hosted on-premises is rather more costly than Cloud-based BaaS. In the first case, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with a Blockchain system is significantly higher due to upfront costs of personnel, infrastructure, hardware, software, bandwidth expenses, licensing, consulting and cost per transaction and so on. This model can be a very expensive option to implement and develop a smart contract in the Blockchain framework. However, the blockchain network hosted on cloud can be reliable. 

It is best to assess the expenses when implementing a blockchain smart contract on premises as the costs can run up to several hundred thousand dollars. The payment plan is also referred to as a pay-per-use plan, where a user pays based on units of service consumed. However, the exact amounts will depend on factors like delivery rate, the number of channels used, payload size on the orders, and the maximum number of concurrent requests. 

Similarly, the Amazon AWS Managed Blockchain service prices are based on factors such as network membership, a connection of peers, storage compression, peer node storage cost, network member cost, the amount of data written, and transmission speed.

Likewise, Microsoft offers tiered pricing for its Azure Blockchain service for each level, with each tier having an hourly cost based on the usage of transacted items, node publishers, and storage space per month for a member. Costs pertaining to most of the BaaS services is determined basis the consumed service units. Obviously, there is a need for contractual agreements to be entered with the third parties as is required for setting up the infrastructure.

Whether you work with an IBM, AWS or Azure service provider to create your blockchain application, additional costs for consultancy, solution development, and any other consultancy services will have to be paid, in accordance with your service contract.

Blockchain is an exciting concept implying data transactions on a public ledger. What’s more, a game plan from nations such as the US and the European Union exploring tighter data privacy protections and regulations makes Blockchain strategies all the more significant in the context of these countries. Nevertheless, Blockchain’s numerous advantages are among the greatest this industry has ever seen.

However secure and reliable the blockchain technology is claimed to be but we cannot guarantee absolute security, even in the modern age. The use of private key encryption, digital signatures and hashing are known to make the data on the distributed ledger technology. However, such systems can be compromised by not following best practices.

Misconfigured settings, bugs, and glitches in the Blockchain security platform can result in crucial and debilitating damage, posing a threat to the system as a whole. Therefore, prior to stepping into a contract, it’s essential to carry out a thorough assessment of the BaaS service provider and to consider the risk that affects using their services.

Even before specifying the requirements to the BaaS provider, it will be good for the technology team to clearly state their expectations and define the parameters, also clearly understanding the guarantees that might go into the contract. 

Criteria for Selecting a Blockchain as a Service Partner

A number of evaluations and deliberations go into the procedure for selecting a BaaS partner.  This will be a whole lot more thorough as a result of the complete lack of established specifications and practices in the industry. Among the long list of guidelines that could be followed, here are a few of the more major considerations to keep in mind when selecting a BaaS partner.

Choose an experienced Blockchain Infrastructure Company for setting up the framework

Disseminating Blockchain platforms and infrastructure at scale is the primary thrust of the business’s strategy. Try making sure the BaaS partner has vast experience in deploying Blockchain nodes and Market Infrastructure at scale, as this should be comparable to the plan you wish to implement. If possible, you can also seek the opinions of past clients.

Adherence to Quality

Try to gather information about the vendor’s processes, standards and also his commitment to quality.

Security Assurance

It is crucial that you confirm that there are no loopholes in the security of the brand-new implementation plan. A relatively simple defect could lead to disastrous consequences. You make sure you implement the most productive result of distributed ledger technology.

 Assess expertise for specific operating systems

Make sure that the BaaS provider of your choice has the required expertise in deploying cloud-based solutions for operating systems similar to yours.  In addition, make sure that your new business industry infrastructure is compatible with your existing legacy systems.

Ease of Use

Make sure the Blockchain-compatible systems and procedures that you’ve selected actively help people to use the system. It’s imperative that your systems aren’t difficult to use for your staff or customers, which may ultimately affect the adoption rate and influence business operations.

Pricing and Support

At last, you just pay subsequent to the overall advantage that one gets from the BaaS partner. It is crucial to assess the pricing models of BaaS providers and their post-deployment service offerings. Choose a vendor that provides utmost value for your organization.       

The Pros and Cons of BaaS

Pros

As with any other type of business or service offering, prospective consumers would always intend to analyze the opportunities and hazards related to the provision of Blockchain as a service before joining an organization. Here are some of the considerations from which you might draw your own conclusions.

Cost Savings

In most cases, companies’ main priority when finding a Blockchain as a service provider is to look for added value versus competitive prices. In addition to this, maintaining BaaS is equally as important. However, the cost and efficiency advantages of BaaS far exceed those from anything else. Business managers who outsource tasks pertaining to Blockchain integration, such as the recruitment and training of developers and the maintenance of a research team, to a BaaS partner can reduce costs and resources devoted to recruiting developers, payroll management, and education and infrastructure development.

Ease of Use

BaaS suppliers commonly offer automated templates and plug-and-play modules that can be installed in a short period by users with fair programming skills. This way the client would not have to design the architecture from scratch. Therefore, instead of operating their own architecture from the ground up, companies can simply leverage the solutions and templates offered by their Blockchain as a Service partner to integrate existing systems and applications with the existing architecture.

Focus on Customization

By taking the services of Baas providers, in-house experts and business specialists can focus largely on their growth requirements. After the blockchain infrastructure is all set up, BaaS partners can aid in further support services such as bandwidth management, hosting, and security monitoring.    

Staff and Resource Optimization

Outsourcing the task of setting up the blockchain infrastructure and managing it can translate to fewer utility bills in terms of equipment space, power and cooling. As a result, the organization’s IT department can focus exclusively on what it provides, reducing staff size and enabling employees to participate in more valuable and essential projects for the business.

Limited In-depth Knowledge

Several companies have begun exploring the blockchain possibility, but many of them don’t understand the technology’s architecture. Accordingly, they tend to make decisions that are not well-supported by the known facts. It is quite possible for investment decisions based on improper findings and wrong knowledge to turn out to be quite misguided.   

Cons

Risk of miscommunication

BaaS providers are the ones responsible for complete infrastructure set up, resources, deployment of nodes and cloud-based solutions and the customer often lacks the technical know-how. The disparity in their technical expertise can often lead to miscommunication and also misunderstandings, especially when technical difficulties occur.   As the customer relies on reporting information of a particular BAaaS provider during a crisis, certain crises may cause distrust between the two parties.

Data Compliance Problems

Blockchain technology provides the capability to disseminate information across a globally distributed network. It may also provide access to previously seal regulatory and compliance considerations, especially when information is shared among multiple zones, or the providers themselves have their global infrastructure in regions subject to economic sanctions.

Business Continuity

The service agreement between the BaaS provider and customer are often based on the assumption that the former would continue to provide its services as long as it is needed for the entire length of the contract. However, in today’s ever-changing business environment, it is harder to ensure that a service provider will keep working. The same applies for BaaS. Cloud providers may go bankrupt in a few years or suffer a merger. If the service provider encounters a bankruptcy or undergoes a merger within a few years from now, service interruptions may significantly increase.

Final thoughts

There is little doubt that with blockchain gaining traction Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is also most likely to play a prominent part in the upcoming years. Blockchain technology is quickly becoming a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to modernizing any business or organization. Blockchain as an emerging service has already started having exponential benefits with more companies understanding how helpful this new form can be for them in enhancing their performance and scaling up operations. 

Blockchain as a Service is an advantageous service through which you can take your company into the future and be a frontrunner of your peers in your field. Blockchain allows you to become a leader among your competitors. Although it comes with some risk, it also gives you the chance to make progress in your field.  

About Zeeve

Zeeve is a leading blockchain infrastructure company supporting businesses, and blockchain-based start-ups to create, deploy, and manage decentralized applications and blockchain networks. We have cost-effective and easy-to-adopt packaged solutions for enterprises.

Zeeve is a low-code automation platform that supports the backends of several blockchain protocols and provides comprehensive analytics. It not only deploys and builds the blockchain networks but also supervises their nodes. 

Get in touch with our team to learn about our blockchain sharing, managing, and deploying infrastructure platform.

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