BaaS stands for Blockchain as a Service, allowing companies to build blockchain applications and digital services on a distributed network while the vendor supplies infrastructure and blockchain building tools. Most often, complicated infrastructure set-ups and the blockchain building tools such as Web3, Smart Contract, PKMS(Private Key Management Service) require businesses to pour enormous amounts of time and resources into their services. To avoid such hassle, BaaS provides secure, stable, easy-to-use, and open blockchain cloud services to build an Internet featuring mutual trust and efficient collaboration. As such, companies have more room to focus on their own services.
Before explaining the core concepts of BaaS, let’s take a look at what existing cloud services are. BaaS can be categorized into three types as follows: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS-type BaaS.
IaaS: Infrastructure as a service(IaaS) are online services that provide high-level APIs used to dereference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup.
PaaS: Platform as a service (PaaS) is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications.
SaaS-type Baas: Blockchain as a Service provides blockchain APIs, convenient GUI tools to issue, deploy and transfer tokens, and secure and simple private key management to users who do not necessarily have the domain knowledge of blockchain. Needless to say, the concept is based on and works on engagement principles similar to that of Software as a Service (SaaS).
Top 3 global leaders in BaaS business
AWS(Amazon Web Service) is a subsidiary of Amazon, founded in 2006, providing on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs. AWS has the largest market share (33.2%) around the world and supports multiple BaaS services including Hyperledger Fabric and a private Ethereum network.
IBM is the largest computer manufacturer in the world. Plus, it offers business consulting and IT solutions. Hyperledger Fabric is a formal Linux Foundation project which IBM and other organizations are members of. Members such as IBM can take the Fabric (and other Hyperledger projects) source code and use it in delivering their own specific commercial blockchain-based infrastructure services and/or work with clients to develop specific applications using Fabric as a foundation for distributed ledgers.
Current Clients of Luniverse
Luniverse, a next generation blockchain service platform developed by Lambda 256 – the research arm of Upbit’s parent company Dunamu – is somewhat different from IBM and AWS. Many DApp companies wanted to leverage blockchain technology, but none had provided user-friendly services. Luniverse was born to satisfy such needs, and to provide everything you need to make good use of blockchain. It is now a leading BaaS platform where more than 700 companies from here and abroad are using its blockchain services. Above all, it is gaining a lot of attention from around the world.
Luniverse supports a total solution from infrastructure, protocol, blockchain building tools to consulting while AWS and IBM have strength in cloud-based installation but are not doing well in dealing with customers’ requests, consult, and keeping the team updated.
Feature Analysis by Companies
Cloud Based Infra
A cloud service is any service made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers. Without any extra server device, it can increase more computing and storage power anytime. All three companies support cloud infrastructure, but have some differences. While Lunvierse provides various cloud infrastructure environments such as AWS, MS, Google or any other public clouds, while AWS and IBM have no choice but to use their own cloud infrastructure.
Hyperledger Fabric is an open source provided by Linux Foundation, developing a suitable framework for enterprise blockchain solutions. Since the release of Hyperledger Fabric v1.4 on 10th Jan, 2019, Hyperledger Fabric has been updated to the latest version of 2.0 which includes security and data privacy enhancement and the new Fabric chaincode lifecycles. Hyperledger Fabric releases constant updates to improve stability and its latest version(v2.2) was launched in Aug 2020.Luniverse now supports Hyperledger Fabric version 2.2, while IBM and AWS supports 2.0 and 1.2 respectively.
IDE(Integrated Development Environment) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. IDE enhances developers’ productivity as it contains source code editor, debuggers, compiler, interpreter, and build automation. Luniverse, AWS, IBM all provide their own IDEs – Luniverse for Atom and Remix, IBM for VScode and AWS for cloud9.
REST, short for representational state transfer, is a type of software architecture that was designed to ensure interoperability between different Internet computer systems. REST works by putting in place very strict constraints for the development of web services. All three companies support it.
GUI(Graphical User Interface), a computer program that enables a person to communicate with a computer through the use of symbols, visual metaphors, and pointing devices. In short, users do not need to enter commands to interact with a computer. The GUI has replaced the arcane and difficult textual interfaces of earlier computing with a relatively intuitive system that has made computer operation not only easier to learn but more pleasant and natural. Only Luniverse and IBM support the GUI environment.
Multi Chain / protocol
All three companies support Hyperledger Fabric, while Luniverse and AWS support additional mainnet. Both support Ethereum mainnet, famous for smart contracts. The Ethereum network is one of the largest and most used blockchain networks, but many DApps are struggling to deal with high gas fees and slow transaction throughput. Luniverse, on the other hand, increased TPS and reduced gas fees through sidechain, allowing an optimized environment to apply blockchain into non-blockchain services.
IBM : Hyperledger Fabric
AWS : Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum(private)
Luniverse : Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum(public mainnet, private), Luniverse Mainchain
A sidechain is a separate blockchain that is attached to its parent blockchain using a two-way peg. Since it burdens too much for a parent blockchain(node) to hold all the transaction data, which might cause unexpected downtime, sidechain is preferably adopted. Transactions are recorded on a sidechain which anchors its mainnet periodically to update the data. To make full use of blockchain, Luniverse now supports sidechain.
PKMS(Private Key Management Service)
PKMS is the service that helps manage and sign the private key safely to reduce the risk of loss. When signed transactions are received, the private key of every end-user, safely stored on the server, is used to sign transactions. Luniverse PKMS allows end users not to enter their private key or load the keystore file, improving the usability of DApps and preventing the chances of losing their private key.
A non-fungible token (NFT), is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens are thus not mutually interchangeable by their individual specification. Non-fungible tokens are used to create verifiable digital scarcity, as well as digital ownership, and the possibility of asset interoperability across multiple platforms. Global brand companies and game companies have already used NFT to issue brand certificates and digitalize game items respectively. Luniverse offers an API that issues and manages NFTs.
DID refers to a decentralized identifier. Simply put, it is almost the same as a unique ID and password used to sign in to a central entity. DID is a technology that helps to record such credentials inside blockchain rather than a centralized database. This opens an era of Self Sovereign Identity where an individual has full control of their personal information. Among three companies, Luniverse only supports DID solutions and is collaborating with Yanolja, a global hotel and leisure platform company, to apply the technology into more than 25,000 hotels around the world. If you’re curious about Luniverse DID, please click here.
Feature Comparison of Global Top 3 BaaS
To be sure, not every solution needs blockchain. You have to ask where’s the problem – the core issue – that blockchain can help. To leverage blockchain and to reduce the risk of running into potential issues when adopting blockchain, you must avoid building a blockchain solution from scratch, but rather use cost-effective and easy-to-use a global BaaS platform, Luniverse.
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