You must have read my previous post on Blockchain that explains the technology at a very fundamental level. In this post, I am going to describe various ongoing developments in Blockchain within leading tech companies who are determined to make blockchain a mainstream technology for all types of trade and exchange.
If Blockchain has to succeed, it needs to penetrate each and every stratum of the industry. That can range from SMEs to big firms as well. Some of the key factors that can propel Blockchain into large-scale usage can be-
- Blockchain hosted on Public Cloud
- Pay as you go model for small-medium companies
- Effective protection against DoS or DDoS type attack
- A system of connected peripheral devices (IoT) apart from Smartphones to address basic utility
- A digital safe for private keys with ability to be accessed by personal devices as and when needed
- Blockchain development clusters who provide development services
There can be a number of other factors that may affect the adoption of blockchain but I believe that the aforementioned points are going to be critical.
The Gartner Hype Cycle over a period of one year(2016-17) has seen Blockchain move significantly on the x-axis. The next Gartner report for 2018 may surely have blockchain move well within Slope of enlightenment.
Blockchain hosted on a public cloud platform such as AWS can be inviting for many in the industry. It can drive acquisition at the nascent stage while generating widespread awareness for the technology at the same time. This coupled with the ability of small-scale deployment and custom development can create a major push for the tech.
Who is doing what?
Blockchain has mainly attracted the attention of companies who deal in enterprise technologies such as IBM et. al. In fact, IBM has taken major initiatives in Blockchain and apparently running ahead of the competition.
IBM and Samsung have been involved in a joint project called ADEPT which translates to Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry. The ADEPT architecture as conceptualized used three key protocols. These are BitTorrent (File Sharing), Etherium (Smart Contracts) and TeleHash (Peer to Peer messaging).
The ADEPT architecture is documented in a draft paper that highlights tremendous possibilities of Blockchain when coupled with IoT. I have already mentioned the IoT washing machine in my last post that can interact parallelly with vendors and order detergent or service without human intervention.
The ADEPT architecture can automate a host of IoT devices. From a simple Beacon to more complex devices, all types of devices have the required mechanisms running in their respective internet protocol stack.
Blockchain Garage and Bluemix
While Blockchain can be hosted on IBM Z systems, we would keep our inquiry limited to Bluemix. Bluemix is the cloud platform of IBM where you can run your Blockchain application(s).
IBM has opened these BlueMix garages in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, London, Toronto, and Nice. So now you have got Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) through these Bluemix garages. A number of companies have already tested their apps successfully on Bluemix.
Apart from this, IBM is also offering secure Blockchain service which is nothing but BlueMix and LinuxOne combined into one package.
IBM is also helping Blockchain grow by supporting an open source project called Hyperledger which is meant to identify and address the key issues across industries pertaining to Blockchain. Core contributors to Hyperledger also include Accenture, Airbus, Intel, Hitachi and various other leading companies.
BaaS on Azure
Microsoft has also taken into making Blockchain a mainstream technology. Microsoft is offering BaaS for enterprise and for developers and partners as well. Microsoft is also providing an online calculator for quick price estimates and easy server set-up for potential customers. Microsoft’s leadership looks sharply focused on cloud computing right now and BaaS from Microsoft will only strengthen its position against IBM’s Bluemix.
Amazon moving in too
Amazon has also entered into the domain of Blockchain quite seriously now. Amazon has been hosting and sponsoring events for small companies working on Blockchain. But now Amazon has finally decided to step up and shift gears. Together with an investment firm called Digital Currency Group, Amazon is providing Blockchain experimentation environment for enterprises.
In collaboration with the startups in the DCG portfolio, AWS will provide dedicated cloud infrastructure and technical support for those projects. The startups, along with DCG, will collaborate with enterprise businesses looking to explore and test different blockchain applications.
Given the fact that AWS is the most popular cloud platform within the B2B circle, Amazon might hit gold with Blockchain if it sees large-scale adoption in the coming times.
Blockchain has got the potential to bring a paradigm shift in ways we transact with each other by eliminating bureaucracy at every level. However, for that to happen, adoption of the technology must occur. Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft are playing to their strengths as they invite thousands to run and test Blockchain apps upon their infrastructure. Consolidating this with the potential of Blockchain itself, it is quite possible that we may possibly end up using Blockchain for our basic transactions in near future.