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Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). How Do Blockchain Cloud-based Solutions Work?

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Fri, 05/31/2019 - 10:27
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  • Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is gaining traction, but what is it? This guide is here to explain to you the basics of this blockchain technology and its advantages for corporations and businesses

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Contents

We know that the application of blockchain extends well beyond cryptocurrencies, but where exactly can it be applied? One of the most prospective ways to use this technology is Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). Sound complicated? This article is here to explain the nuts and bolts of this innovation, and how it can change our lives.

What is BaaS?

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is a technology that enables clients to use cloud-based infrastructure to create, host and utilize their own blockchain applications, code contracts and features on a blockchain. At the same time, cloud service providers execute assignments and processes to help the ecosystem function. It is a fascinating advancement that contributes to the wide adoption of blockchains over organizations. In its essence, it reminds one of Software As A Service.

People and organizations are eager to adopt blockchain innovations, but there are many impediments to its massive implementation: technical issues and operational restrictions connected with making, arranging, and maintaining the decentralized system, and keeping up its foundation. Together with the industry top dogs, numerous new companies are currently offering advanced products for dealing with this issue via the Blockchain-as-a-Service.

So, how does it function?

BaaS means that a third-party company renders all essential "blockchain innovations and infrastructure" for a client on a paid basis. A BaaS supplier establishes and maintains the decentralized system and nodes that they possess and operate. Thus, a BaaS supplier deals with the fundamental points of the software for the customer and their online infrastructure.

The BaaS administrator cares about the maintenance of the decentralized framework. It additionally offers support services like bandwidth control, appropriate assignment of assets, hosting, etc. Besides, a supplier is also responsible for the security of his framework. By utilizing a BaaS solution, the customer may forget about troublesome errands and focus on what really matters – the functions of their blockchain – rather than stressing over the ecosystem and issues with performance.

To have a better understanding of what it is, consider that BaaS plays the role of a hosting company. You fabricate an awesome site that is ready to deal with serious traffic spikes. You can host your website utilizing your PC or server located in your own home/company, and deal with all the upkeep by hiring IT specialists. Alternatively, you can work with third-party web hosting suppliers like GoDaddy and let their team take care of everything. BaaS functions similarly: it enables you to concentrate on the essential website features and functions.

BaaS might be the fundamental trigger that can prompt a lot more extensive and profound implementation of blockchain innovations crosswise over different business areas and organizations. Rather than making proprietary blockchains, businesses can let others handle those complicated tasks and focus on their mission-critical goals.

Why is BaaS beneficial?

BaaS works like a SaaS solution, permitting organizations of every kind to implement blockchain technologies without investing heavily in their development. Additionally, the BaaS model enables organizations to deploy blockchain supplier's services to access/create decentralized apps.

The main drawback is that BaaS cannot exist without some level of centralization as exchanges should be executed on behalf of the hosting provider. Decentralization is what makes blockchain valuable, but here we deal with a specific case, so organizations should take some time to consider if such technology is suitable for solving their issues.

  • Benefits of this service model

  • The ability to benefit from advanced technologies without serious investments

  • Offers organizations huge adaptability

  • Expanded information security

  • Wide compatibility

  • Access from any place

  • More advanced software

BaaS can be implemented in organizations of any sphere and is highly demanded among the companies related to retail, healthcare, insurance, marketing, finances, and cloud services.

Who provides such services?

Large companies are already developing and offering their own BaaS solutions. Microsoft has come up with a BaaS system for Azure. The service is essentially created for corporate customers, accomplices, and devs to implement and customize the decentralized ledger technology by providing an intuitive cloud-based decentralized dev ecosystem. Using this solution, several parties may experiment with blockchain in a ready environment – it’s suitable for both development and testing. Once the solution is ready, it can be uploaded and integrated seamlessly into the Azure’s private system.

Companies that provide BaaS hosting include Google and IBM
Image by ledgerinsights

Deloitte's Rubix is a solution that was created to model, test and build blockchain & smart contract applications for any sphere. Thanks to offering a flexible, adaptable blockchain infrastructure, Rubix is a 100% private system that can be controlled to meet the customer’s requirements. With an assortment of incredible and adaptable highlights and settings, Rubix can be successfully used in corporate infrastructure.

Aside from above-mentioned products, IBM’s innovation is offered for private consortium blockchains, and cloud hosting solutions are also provided by Amazon and Oracle.

Why is BaaS the future for B2B?

There are at least three reasons why BaaS is very likely to be widely adopted by companies.

1. It allows testing the products

This system enables B2B organizations to experiment with blockchain innovations prior to making a more considerable investment. B2B organizations don’t have to spend boatloads of money on testing and developing technology and electronics. BaaS reduces the risks connected with the use of proprietary decentralized systems.

Of course, to create some organization-specific products, a company would have to hire a programmer or blockchain developer, which will cost them $70,000-$200,000 annually. But for enjoying some basic functions, a BaaS solution would be more than enough.

2. BaaS solves the problem of a lack of workforce

Since blockchain is a pretty new phenomenon, the number of qualified blockchain specialists is minor. Today, companies face a lack of blockchain developers, which makes it hard for them to use the technology. From 20 mln programmers on the planet, only 0.1% are savvy in the area of the decentralized ledger. What's more, statistics show there are only up to 60K specialists worldwide meeting all requirements to deal with programming.

3. It revolutionizes the way we run operations

In 2016, worldwide financial organization Visa announced that it started working with blockchain venture organization Chain to build up a straightforward and quick approach to execute B2B transactions over the globe. Without blockchain, performing thousands of international transactions can be a great challenge, but BaaS changes it all.

Making international transactions can frequently be a cumbersome and long procedure even for large enterprises. Despite the fact that BaaS suppliers basically play the role of mediators for B2B organizations and blockchain innovation, it removes the intermediaries in exchanges by automating the process. Therefore, exchanges made via decentralized systems have a much higher speed. Organizations like Visa are creating blockchain frameworks to execute close to real-time exchanges. What's more, the amount and geography of these exchanges aren't a boundary. With BaaS, organizations can easily process global operations.

By accelerating the procedure, BaaS can save a lot of money for B2B organizations. For instance, a bank might save around $8 bln every year, e.g. cuts its operational budget by 27%.

Why is BaaS not a pure blockchain system?

Truth be told, BaaS is not a 100% blockchain because it contradicts one golden rule: blockchain is decentralized, which means it isn’t governed by anyone. However, the use of BaaS means that companies take control over a blockchain in their hands, which goes against the ethics of this phenomenon. Is there any threat? We know that the information stored in blockchains is always unbiased and trustworthy as it’s driven by code only. As for BaaS, codes might be manipulated by the developer or owner. It diminishes the main value – decentralization.

All in all, BaaS has a lot of potential to improve the efficiency of business processes, no matter where it is used. Although the technology is currently in its initial state, it promises to become more widely adopted all over the globe because its advantages are hard to overestimate.

About the author

Crypto writer, blockchain geek & Bitcoin holder with a strong belief in the power of cryptocurrency. Veronika combines in-depth analytical approach with creative writing to deliver the texts that both inform and entertain. With hundreds of reviews, SEO articles and marketing texts under the belt, she has experience of working for blockchain Medium channels, Cryptodiffer site and ICOs. Part of U.Today team since 2018, she focuses on crypto price predictions and monitors the market to provide the most relevant info & opinions.

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Top 10 Blockchain Games to Play Right Now [MMORPG, MOBA, TCG]

Blockchain
Sun, 06/30/2019 - 06:00
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  • 🤔🎮Thinking about starting a new game? Take blockchain games into consideration to follow the trend🎮💰

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Contents

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in general have already improved the lives of lots of people around the world, and the possibility that such a trend continued is enormous. The new technology might positively influence such branches as medicine, education, public administration, economy of the country, etc. No one even thought that blockchain could be a platform for games; however, it happened. 

The blockchain-based games are not well known and used so far, as the blockchain technology is in principle not so common.

Blockchain games: How did it all start?

The first games on the blockchain were not distinguished by technical factors; they gained popularity thanks to their instant auto-payments. For example, there was such a lottery game as Satoshi Bones.

Its essence was that the player should guess or choose a number and it should coincide with the randomly thought-out number of the machine. If you guess correctly, a reward appears on your wallet.

Satoshi Bones logo
Image by Bitcoingg

The crypto industry does not stand still, and during the HYIP of  2017, smart contact games appeared. All of them had the same functionality: buying and selling goods; however, only now everything is done within the blockchain. One of the most famous games was the legendary CryptoKitties, which have turned the attention of the entire gaming blockchain industry.

In general, blockchain has contributed to the rapid development of the gaming field, securing its place among the most promising and progressive industries.

Without exaggeration, one can say that the introduction of blockchain into the gaming industry has become one of the most effective methods of promoting cryptocurrency to the masses. If we discard the absurdity of the CryptoKitties idea, then we can see behind this game a good way to quickly and efficiently evaluate the capabilities of the Ethereum blockchain.

Variety of Blockchain games

At the moment, a large number of blockchain games using the Ethereum blockchain are on the cryptocurrency market, but are they interesting to play, and does blockchain technology need them?

All existing blockchain games can be divided into two categories:

  • Crypto Collectibles

  • Crypto-games

Let's start with crypto collectibles games. The problem with this field is that there is no real gameplay.

Users buy tokens with some visual design and hope to make a profit by selling them later.

In several crypto collectibles games, a function such as crossing heroes (breeding) is implemented, but collecting tokens (albeit unique ones) without any possibility for their interaction is far from what the gamer wants to get from the game.

Nevertheless, crypto collection games use the unique features of the blockchain:

  • Transparency (ability to check the history of any gaming asset).

  • Security (no one can steal your gaming assets if you keep your private keys safe).

  • Immutability (no one can change transaction history).

  • One player can transfer tokens without the participation of any third party to another player.

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Games without a server – A new trend in Blockchain gaming

Games without a server is another innovation in the industry – a sort of browser-based application on a smart contract. All the initial information is in the blockchain, and the gameplay is displayed in the player’s browser. All you need to have is MetaMask (browser resolution), and gas.

In such games, two players take turns choosing one or another profitable or non-profit platform. After a certain number of platforms, the winner is determined by the total number of bets won, and the game bank is divided accordingly.

Games on the blockchain are straightforward to implement in practice and are popular due to the withdrawal of funds in cryptocurrency. In addition, one of their advantages is the guaranteed encouragement of developers, which serves as a motivation to improve the game further.

Unfortunately, there are few such games at the moment, however, if we take as a basis several advantages which such content is endowed with, it can be predicted that soon they will gain a vast audience of users who want to deal with digital assets.

Besides advantages, there are also disadvantages in blockchain-based games:

  • Blockchain is used simply for HYIP.

  • Slow transaction processing. At present, the blockchain is slow, and interaction with it is quite expensive. Any game that uses the server, not the blockchain, is cheaper, faster, and more convenient for the end user.

Therefore, the use of blockchain in games should be very well justified. And this validity should not be connected to the word “blockchain” for promotional purposes.

Blockchain-based games

Let’s take a look at the 10 most popular blockchain games in 2019 that can attract your attention.

Huntercoin

Huntercoin is an MMORPG game created on the blockchain. Several players take part in such types of games simultaneously from all corners of the world, just on different  servers). 2D game players have two simple tasks:

  • Collect coins and carry them to the bank

  • Kill other competing players

All tasks require a small amount of cryptocurrency. If a player is eliminated, his coins are placed on the map so that other users can find them. Huntercoin (HUC) is a token that players receive. It is not a very well-known and used crypto but it can be sold on the Poloniex exchange for BTC.

Worldopo

Worldopo is a world-building simulator, a kind of Minecraft, based on a real-world map. WPT cryptocurrency along with BTC and ETH are awards received in the game. This is one of the few technologically advanced cryptocurrency games.

It deals with virtual reality, blockchain technology and DAG (directed acyclic graph). Users can purchase real roads throughout the world thanks to the use of  maps, either Google or Open Street, in the game.

Comparing Worldopo to similar platforms, it is most related to Pokèmon Go-meet-Monopoly, a game where users can collaborate in building and developing the global economy.

Worldopo provides users with access to mining farms, as well as the opportunity to earn Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or Worldopo (WPT).

Beyond the Void

Beyond the Void is a new free MOBA strategy. Players should fight against each other in the vastness of space. Developers initially bet on the fact that gamers can play the game even in e-sport tournaments.

Beyond the Void logo
Image by Beyond-the-void

Each player has a "main ship" in case of loss of which he loses the match. Ships can capture planets and other celestial bodies within the galaxy to extract the resources necessary for the construction of a new space fleet. The ultimate goal is to crush your rival. Thanks to different sets of special skills and random event cards, battles are different from each other, and each time you have to adjust to the situation and style of play of your opponent.

At the same time, this game has a trading platform where players can buy special individual items for the Ethereum token Nexium (NxC):

  • Different skins (appearance) for your main ship.

  • Holographic tags (you can place your coat of arms on the battlefield).

  • Non-standard avatars for the player profile.

  • Titles (for example, “Asshole 3000” or “Captain hopelessness”).

  • Maps of random events that can significantly influence the situation on the battle map (for example, asteroid rain).

The game has a unique economy, thanks to which any buyer of game items actually purchases them since all transactions are recorded in the blockchain and are made exclusively for Nexium.

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Alien Run

Alien Run is a classic arcade game. The gameplay is easy: you are an alien who must reach a safe place, jumping and dodging all the obstacles that are encountered before him.

As you keep improving through different levels, the character gains new skills. What is crucial, you get rewards for each level passed. The complexity increases with each level; the number of Bitcoins that can be obtained also increases.

Games on the blockchain are already common, but more can be expected from this technology. The imagination of the developers is the only limitation on platforms offering many programming possibilities.

CryptoKitties

If you got a chance to play Tamagotchi, then it will be easy for you to understand what CryptoKitties is: the equivalent of an old game, but using blockchain technologies.

CryptoKitties was released in 2017 by Axiom Zen. It became so popular in the community that increased the amount of transactions on the Ethereum network to a new ATH. CryptoKitties has become a unique game that has raised around $14 mln from different venture capital firms and investors.

Cryptokitties logo
Image by Cryptokitties

The goal of the game is to gather a unique collection of digital cats. You can buy them on the marketplace of the game for cryptocurrency (ETH), while the system gives players one cat at the start.

Players can interact with other members and ask for a kitten from their cats for a certain amount of ETH. All cats have specific features generated randomly and connected with previous parent cats.

The price of a cat is not fixed, but determined by market demand. For example, Genesis, the very first crypto cat, was sold for more than $100,000. To start playing the game, gamers need to install a  MetaMask account.

Privateers.Life: The Island

This game is made in the pirate style. The action takes place 4 centuries ago in the so-called era of pirates. The overall point is to keep one’s character alive by fulfilling a series of game tasks.

Privateers logo
Image by Privateers

Privateers.Life offers exciting gameplay that makes this game unlike any other. You need to find various items, collect them, and process. That is the part where cryptocurrencies enter the game: if a character is done with the production process, it can sell his item for Ludum (LDM). Ludum is a game's native cryptocurrency. It can be used for purchasing goods and services on the platform or exchange LDM on EtherDelta.

Spells of Genesis

The game has an attractive approach, features from arcade games and card strategies. The most interesting peculiarity is that it operates on a Bitcoin network, not Ethereum blockchain. Players should collect, combine and trade balls, which can be used in combat against competitors.

Spells of Genesis logo
Image by Spells of Genesis

While playing the game, cards increase in their price, setting a form of a structured market. Both Android and iOS users can play this game.

TRONGoo

TRONGoo is the reincarnation of the popular Ethereum game called EtherGoo. The goal of the players is to collect Goo (mucus), which you can get by yourself, or steal it from another player. The game has a reward system for those users who have collected the most Goo.

trongoo logo
Image by Trongoo

At the beginning of the game, everyone has one cute kitten at his disposal, which is engaged in the production of mucus – it produces a small amount of Goo in a second.

EtherGoo was a popular blockchain based game. Shortly after launch, it bypassed CryptoKitties and became the most popular decentralized application with the largest number of active users and the most significant volume of processed transactions.

Ether Quest

Ether Quest is a fantasy-style game on Ethereum blockchain where players should assemble and train different warriors. To start the game, players need access to the game's marketplace, a certain amount of ETH and a hero that you can buy.

Ether Quest website
Image by Ether Quest

Warriors act in a form of team players and can be sent to the Arena or the tournament. As a reward, winners get Ethereum. As the warrior becomes more skillful, his value in the market increases. If he turns out to be an unsuccessful investment, players are able to sell it and partially compensate for the loss. You need to have a MetaMask account to participate in the game.

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HyperDragons

If you are fond of battles, then HyperDragons is your choice. In the game, all players have equal chances to win. At the Arena, participants and spectators can predict the winner (for accurate predictions, bonuses and awards are given).

HyperDragons interface
Image by HyperDragons

Players on the platform buy and sell HyperDragons, using ETH to pay. Prices may vary depending on the creature's uniqueness, physical characteristics, and other aspects. Dragons can be trained to take on specific traits. Players taking part in battles, increase the number of points, skills, and levels of "honor".

Blockchain Games: Is there a future?

So far, the games industry on the blockchain is only taking its first steps. The developers are preparing the ground, platforms that will allow talented teams to realize their ideas. When this happens, a new era of transparency may begin in the gaming industry.

The developers will no longer own the players' savings – as long as your money is stored on foreign servers and not in the blockchain, you can do whatever you want with it. 

In general, everything that happens in the game will not be hidden from your eyes, because the entries in the blockchain are open to everyone. Technology can unleash confidence between players and developers, which will benefit everyone who considers himself part of the gaming industry.

About the author

With more than 5 years of trading, Denys has a deep knowledge of both technical and fundamental market analysis. Mainly, he has started his blog on TradingView where publishes all relevant information and make predictions about top coins.
Thus, his experience is backed up by working in top blockchain related companies such as W12, Platinum Listing & ICO Advisory, ATB Coin, and others.

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