Blockchain improves cloud computing
Blockchain has always been associated with Bitcoin, one of the leading online criptovalues. Indeed, it was born in 2008 along with bitcoins, but the power of its architecture and the possibility to adopt it in many other business areas became clear only in recent years.
In simple words, blockchain is the technology that creates a distributed account of transactions on a network which qualifies as secure, tamper-proof, and easily accessible for its users. A blockchain is made up of a set of data blocks, each of them containing a set of transactions. These blocks are electronically chained together and locked with cryptography, and a public record of each transaction is established. The more the number of blocks in a chain increases, the harder an attempt to alter any of them becomes.
The decentralized nature and the full transparency of blockchain are the reasons why it could be considered a valid answer to data security management and safe online transactions issues; With blockchains, on the other hand, you only need to trust Math, not people.
Some of Blockchain attributes:
- Blockchain is reliable:it is not governed by a central “authority” but granting all the direct participants with a degree of control over the entire chain; therefore, the blockchain is much safer and more reliable against cyberattacks. Even in the case one of the chain nodes undergoes an attack and is compromised, the rest of distributed database nodes will nonetheless remain active and operational.
- Blockchain is transparent: transactions are visible to all participants, thus ensuring transparency in operations.
- Blockchain is convenient: fewer third parties are required.
- Blockchain is solid: the information in the blockchain cannot be changed in any way and remain as it was when first entered.
- Blockchain is irrevocable: with the blockchain it is possible to perform transactions at the same time both irrevocable and easier to trace. This ensures that they are permanently persisted, without any possibility of being modified or canceled.
Finance, IOT and other applications
Security, transparency, reliability: all the blockchain key features are clearly crucial for those industries requiring high security solution standards for their product and services. For example, finance and economy are considered by investors as the first two natural application fields for blockchain. Since no intermediaries are required to handle transactions, the blockchain would cut down the costs of bank commissions, allowing savings, speed and reliability of transactions. The interest of insurers is also high thanks to blockchain anti-fraud model supporting secure and decentralized transactions. Blockchain could also be widely applied in industry 4.0 as a model to leverage decentralized logic to produce technologies backing production, logistics, and supply chains. Once again, it is in the IOT scenario where its adoption could facilitate communication between connected objects, as well as making data exchange safer and faster. Finally, the public sector could largely benefit from it by achieving a true digital identity system, thus enhancing, on top of the rest, law enforcement assets against crime.
Cloud and blockchain: where are the synergies?
Cloud technologies are the forerunners to blockchain and both developers and designers delivering innovations in this area should keep an eye on blockchain opportunities too. Private blockchain networks might be run in secure cloud environments, that could consequently play a key role in blockchain deployments. At the same time, cloud and blockchain have so many aspects in common that deploying blockchain pilot projects in the cloud would ensure that many of their advantages are leveraged in one shot.
- Cloud and blockchain have security protection systems, allowing data to be fully encrypted. The ability of cloud deployment models to explicitly address private, community and public scenarios perfectly matches blockchain’s nature, targeting by design specific members in the chain.
- Both are resistant to cybercrime. Blockchain qualifies in this sense thanks to its peer-to-peer model, while the cloud is protected by effective solutions constantly evolving and actively contributing in creating cyber risk free zones. This includes round-the-clock monitoring and proactive identification of suspicious activities and real time response to such threats.
- Both cloud and blockchain significantly reduce costs. Blockchain, like cloud, avoids by design potential inefficiencies from its processes.
We are experiencing two powerful scenarios, as noted by several observers. The Cloud removes legacy systems while blockchain removes the middleman in such systems. The question that anyone implementing blockchain-based projects and cloud services should ask themselves is: why should I deploy new blockchain projects on an expensive and possibly less than safe on-premise system? And why not providing my blockchain project developer a suitable cloud environment to properly support and empower it?
At last, cutting-edge, complementary tools have been put together for ambitious, groundbreaking projects. What are we waiting for? Have a look at where MineBox started!
The Cloud as a Data Logistics Platform
What do consumers of cloud computing care about?
What do they want to know is true?
What would be the equivalent of a blockchain transaction in the cloud?
If we position the cloud as a giant logistics platform for data, then we can think of a transaction as the transport or processing of data. Data enters in to the cloud (network), it is processed (compute) and then is either returned to a consumer or kept for re-use at a later date (storage).
CIOs want a Verifiable data supply chain
If you ask CIOs what they need to move their mission critical processes to the cloud then you will hear terms like “accountability, reliability, compliance, security, verifiability, auditability, acceptance of liability” etc. in other words they demand that there is a secure supply chain and that every step in that supply chain can be verified in real-time and when things go wrong it is possible to figure out what went wrong and that there is someone who can be held accountable.”
Today not a single cloud vendor can say this. It also shows the opportunity; if such a platform could be built and the concerns of Enterprise CIOs could be satisfied then the entire global enterprise IT budget would be up for grabs.
Building a BlockCloud
In principle such as system can be easily envisioned. Everything, that happens to data, whether transport, processing or storage of data is entered into the blockchain.
Afterwards what happened to data, who accessed the data, where it went and how that data was governed can be verified by anyone who has access to the blockchain. In essence the blockchain freezes the compute platform in time and users of the platform can verify that the platform is in the correct state in real-time.
Such a system would give complete traceability for the cloud, entities who are either using or administrating the cloud can be held responsible for their actions, regulators get to audit all processes and everyone involved can verify what happened when.
Of course a reasonable question to ask would be whether such as system could be built in reality. Even a modest petabyte cloud easily implies billions of data transactions every second that would need to be entered into the blockchain and distributed out to the edge. The implied network, storage and compute requirements would make it impossible to scale.
Now here’s a thought – imagine if that blockchain wasn’t just for one cloud – but for all clouds, and all data – every transport, compute and storage of data across all networks in the world. Imagine what such as a system would imply for global society. It would transform our society from one that is trust based to one that is truth based, i.e. humans can choose to trust each other, but they can also prove what happened using the blockchain.
Reports suggest Google may be working on blockchain-based systems to support cloud businesses.
When it comes to cloud technology, Google could potentially use blockchain to record user transactions and improve the security of data produced by such a service.
According to the publication, blockchain technologies being developed by Google would not remain as a private ledger.
Instead, Google plans to offer a license and plan for customers to run their own versions of blockchain on their own servers, enabling them to post and verify transactions themselves in a secure and transparent manner.
In order to jump ahead of the pack, the tech giant’s Alphabet unit has reportedly snapped up a number of startups which focus on digital ledger technologies. However, the majority of these deals have been kept under wraps.
“Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential uses of blockchain but it’s way too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans,” a Google spokesman told ZDNet.
No product details, including potential launch dates, have been made available.
Google is far from the only major tech company exploring blockchain. IBM has been tinkering with blockchain technology for years and announced the launch of the IBM Blockchain Platform Starter Plan this week.
Harrison from IBM: “getting started with blockchain may not be as hard as you originally thought. With the new IBM Blockchain Platform Starter Plan, you can quickly learn, build and try out your blockchain network in an environment designed for development and testing. When you’re ready to go into production, get the level of infrastructure and security your business requires by migrating to an Enterprise Plan.”
In addition, Microsoft is working on an identity system with distributed ledger technologies at the heart of the service.
Alex Simons Director of Program Management, Microsoft Identity Division:
“I hope you’ll find today’s post as interesting as I do. It’s a bit of brain candy and outlines an exciting vision for the future of digital identities.
Over the last 12 months we’ve invested in incubating a set of ideas for using Blockchain (and other distributed ledger technologies) to create new types of digital identities, identities designed from the ground up to enhance personal privacy, security and control. We’re pretty excited by what we’ve learned and by the new partnerships we’ve formed in the process. “
Microsoft plans to work with DID(Decentralized Digital Identities) method implementations, which follow a specific standard outlined by a W3C working group. However, the tech giant has not disclosed specific DID method integrations at this time.
Google’s main rival in the cloud space, Amazon Web Services, already offers distributed ledger testing on servers through partnerships with companies including Sawtooth, Samsung, Corda R3, and PokitDok.
Global Blockchain Spending
IBM, Microsoft benefit the most from distributed ledger technology