Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) is steadily growing amongst big players in the IT and technology industry. IBM announced their interest in the industry over a year ago when it started adding blockchain services to its cloud platform and has since been closely followed by Oracle, Amazon and SAP.
Last month IBM announced plans to hire 1,800 new staff at its French branch, the majority of which would be blockchain researchers. Its recent forays into blockchain technology involve projects for finance, health, logistics and humanitarian causes, amongst others. IBM is focused on private consortium blockchains and uses a Hyperledger BaaS system based on the Bluemix Cloud Platform.
Microsoft began integrating BaaS modules based on Ethereum to their Azure cloud platform back in 2015. Microsoft CTO Mark Russinovich stated that they are becoming more interested in blockchain technology due their customers increased awareness of the possibilities it opens up to optimize business processes. Ethereum was selected as the network of choice due to its flexibility, extensibility and vibrant community of developers. Cortana Analytics, Power BI, Azure Active Directory and O365 can all be integrated into apps built on the Azure BaaS platform.
Blockchain in Banking
Account payments and supply chain are two of the longest standing useful examples of blockchain tech and a recent study by Accenture estimates that banks could save $8 billion a year by implementing blockchain solutions. According to a report by Greenwich Associates market intelligence, banks spent $1.7 billion on blockchain last year, a 67% rise from previous years. The study revealed that many big banks now have almost 20 employees dedicated to the blockchain development.
Other than the big players, many smaller businesses are also getting involved in blockchain adoption. At the E3 game show earlier this month in Los Angeles, Chinese cloud computing company Kingsoft Cloud announced their blockchain-based gaming ecosystem “Project X”. The service is just one of Kingsoft’s many blockchain-related cloud services, which also include solutions for video streaming and finance.
Adoption won’t happen overnight though, as Ron Resnick from the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance points out, but admits “there’s no doubt blockchain is going to disrupt and solve lots of issues.”
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