Blockchain, despite its potential to be a technology as disruptive as the internet itself, seems to be stuck in a holding pattern of lots of hype but little in the way of progress in terms of applicability, user base, and general public recognition. Unlike ‘hype-beasts’ before it, however, blockchain is based on proven, existing technology, and the fact that major tech companies are lining up to offer developer platforms shows that mainstream adoption is just around the corner.
Big Blue’s blockchain platform is designed with a one-size fits all approach in mind. A suite of development tools and a streamlined approach to getting a blockchain up and running means that even complete neophytes to the field will feel comfortable. This is a good pick for an already established company looking to branch out rather than start from scratch, and it’s already being applied to large-scale processes such as supply chains and food sourcing.
Project Bletchley is not a new blockchain, but a platform that allows development under the umbrella of Microsoft’s cloud service, Azure. Distributed applications can be built and deployed with the full strength of Microsoft ensuring scalability while maintaining performance and stability at the same time. Like IBM’s platform, security is a key selling point here, with ‘enterprise-class’ organizations as the target audience. Also notable is its compatibility with Ethereum and the smart contracts protocol on that network. Supplementing the application of smart contract technology is Bletchley’s use of ‘cryptlets’ which supply any additional information that might be needed to complete a transaction.
Coming to the party late is Amazon, with its own blockchain platform, Kaleido, and a stated goal of easing the learning curve of adoption of the technology. Part of this is providing the necessary code, saving a company from building it from the ground up, and part of it is providing Ethereum on an enterprise level in order to make use of that network’s smart contract protocols, much like Microsoft is doing with Project Bletchley. Because Kaleido runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), users can connect to the full range of Amazon services, allowing for painless integration and unified security.
Some blockchain diehard early adopters may balk at major companies throwing their hats in the ring – after all, isn’t blockchain supposed to be decentralized, free from interference from middlemen? But these fears are ultimately unwarranted. IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon are merely providing an infrastructure for companies to adopt blockchain solutions without having to do all the work themselves. If this results in wider knowledge, familiarity, and overall use of this disruptive technology, then blockchain will be all the better for it.