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Blockchain and Cloud Computing: Empowering the Tech Revolution

July 28th, 2023
Blockchain and Cloud Computing: Empowering the Tech Revolution

Blockchain is a groundbreaking technology that acts as a decentralized and distributed ledger system. It enables its parties to keep a transparent and secure record of transactions or information.

Cloud computing, on the other hand, refers to the availability of system resources like data storage, networking, and software over the Internet.

The combination of blockchain technologies with on-demand cloud computing services offers solid solutions for both organizations and individuals. Here’s how you can integrate blockchain and cloud computing.

What is blockchain in cloud computing?

Blockchain in cloud computing refers to the integration of blockchain technology with cloud computing infrastructure and services. It combines the decentralized and secure nature of blockchain networks with the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing.

To effectively scale blockchain businesses, certain cloud infrastructure components are essential. Therefore, it’s important to understand the specific factors to keep an eye out for when looking for an eligible cloud service provider.

The main blockchain cloud needs users typically have include:

  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth is crucial in facilitating fast and reliable communication between blockchain nodes. As blockchain networks grow in size and complexity, there is a need for high bandwidth to ensure seamless data transfer and validation.
  • Developer-friendly tools: Cloud platforms that provide comprehensive software development kits (SDKs), APIs, and development environments enable more efficient building, deployment, and management of blockchain applications.
  • Ample data storage capacity: Cloud providers offer scalable storage solutions that can accommodate the ever-expanding blockchain ledgers and associated metadata.
  • Hosting services: They should be tailored specifically for blockchain networks. Blockchain nodes require more security, and the servers involved should not only have high availability but also a high fault tolerance.
  • Cloud vs. bare metal cloud: Although the public cloud offers flexibility and speed, there might be better choices more suitable for your application or business needs, such as hosting nodes on bare metal cloud instead. You get a 100% dedicated server that is fully customizable with pay-as-you-go pricing.

Cloud computing platforms and services are well-suited to host blockchain networks due to their ability to provide the required infrastructure. The cloud's elastic nature allows blockchain networks to scale up or down based on demand, ensuring efficient resource utilization.

Additionally, cloud providers offer advanced security measures and redundancy options to safeguard blockchain data and maintain the integrity of the network.

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What is blockchain infrastructure?

Blockchain infrastructure combines the underlying technology and other components that allow a fully functioning blockchain network, consisting of aspects necessary for its operation, security, and scalability.

Some key components of blockchain infrastructure include a distributed ledger (tamper-resistant database), consensus mechanisms such as Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS), blockchain nodes, governance, as well as things like running data centers, constructing security mechanisms, and servers.

Blockchain's transparency and immutability make it extremely valuable for various applications. The technology gained popularity following the invention of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, in which blockchain is utilized as a public ledger to record transactions.

However, its potential is significantly greater. Blockchain technology can be used in supply chain management, healthcare, banking, insurance, voting systems, DevOps and other areas where transparency, security, and trust are critical.

Benefits of combining blockchain and cloud computing

Although blockchain has a lot of potential, there are certain challenges. Scalability, energy consumption, legal concerns, and privacy are just a few of the obstacles that must be addressed before blockchain technology can completely achieve its potential.

By leveraging cloud computing capabilities, organizations can harness the benefits of scalability, fault tolerance, security, and cost efficiency while constructing a decentralized network using blockchain technology. The combination of blockchain and cloud enables the development of robust, distributed applications that do not rely on a single, centralized source of control, empowering organizations with greater control over their data and computing resources.

Harnessing the power of blockchain technology in the cloud offers a multitude of advantages. Here are some of the primary benefits to know.

Cost-effectiveness and scalability

The volume of transactions in blockchain networks can be enormous in large-scale blockchain applications. Having powerful data processing services with high transaction execution is critical for allowing scalable blockchain applications.

Through its distributed ledger and consensus procedures, blockchain technology provides enhanced efficiency and scalability. It can speed up and secure transactions, lower expenses, and increase data sharing. The features it offers make it a promising option for various applications such as supply chain management, banking, and healthcare.

With blockchain technology, there is no need for third-party verification and its accompanying fees, which reduces costs. It’s also crucial to ensure that the blockchain's cloud servers are highly secure, especially for sensitive transactions. Implementing stringent security measures on the cloud infrastructure helps safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of the transaction data, providing an added layer of protection.

High availability and reliability

Blockchain technology offers high availability and reliability through its decentralized nature and consensus-based approach. By operating as a peer-to-peer network, blockchain ensures that even if individual nodes fail, the rest of the network continues functioning. This inherent availability is further enhanced by relying on a trusted cloud provider, which contributes to maintaining the seamless operation of the blockchain network.

However, organizations must select a reliable cloud provider that follows strict security measures and best practices. This combination of decentralization and a dependable cloud provider fosters a secure and transparent platform for various applications, optimizing reliability.

Enhanced security and privacy

Blockchain technology's greater security is due to its decentralized and irreversible nature. It can protect against illegal data changes, give transparency, and assure data integrity. As a result, it is a viable option for a wide range of applications, including banking, healthcare, IT procurement, and supply chain management.

The Internet of Things (IoT) presents immense potential for enhancing security. However, the challenge lies in securely storing IoT data on the cloud, mainly due to its sensitive nature, encompassing individuals' personal information and habits.

Cloud computing, along with blockchain technology, plays a crucial role in addressing this challenge by providing secure and reliable storage and transfer solutions tailored to the unique requirements of IoT. This mitigates the potential risks associated with storing IoT data on the cloud and provides greater security and privacy.

Flexibility and interoperability

With the combination of blockchain and cloud, users get maximum flexibility and interoperability. Users can scale services to meet their specific requirements, customize apps, and access cloud services from any location with an internet connection.

Incorporating blockchain technology with cloud storage provides a reliable technique for data verification. Data is saved in the virtual servers of the cloud, and its hash is recorded in a blockchain transaction that is open to everybody.

How can blockchain and cloud computing be used together?

Blockchain and cloud computing are two distinct technologies that can be applied together to enhance various use cases across different industries.

Some examples of how blockchain and cloud computing can be applied together include:

1. Building cloud-based blockchain validator nodes

A blockchain validator node validates transactions and adds them to the blockchain. Validator nodes in a blockchain network play an important role in protecting the integrity and security of the ledger by checking the legitimacy of transactions. When a transaction is validated, the node broadcasts it to other nodes in the network, which validate it in turn and add it to their copy of the blockchain.

While it’s possible to deploy a node from your home machine, you can also deploy them in the cloud. The benefit of running a validator on a cloud service, such as AWS, is that it provides you with reliable speeds that don’t depend on the speed or stability of your home connection. In addition, this option offers improved security and scalability on a level that is difficult to match from a home network.

2. Creating crypto exchanges

Did you know that blockchain technology was created to facilitate Bitcoin? This means that without the blockchain, Bitcoin wouldn't have existed. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain work together to provide a decentralized, secure, and entirely digital transaction chain. There is no need for a physical office or location to keep the servers carrying out operations.

Blockchain lets Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate without a central authority by distributing its activities over a network of computers. This decreases not only risk but also processing and transaction fees. Some other important benefits of building crypto exchanges using blockchain in cloud computing are:

  • Reduced time and costs: moving an exchange can be a time-consuming and expensive procedure. But with the blockchain and cloud combination, this process can be completed quickly at a significantly cheaper cost;
  • Customization and flexibility: customization is required to fulfill the demands of an ever-changing marketplace. The blockchain cloud approach provides the flexibility to grow and integrate storage, security, and developer tools as needed to fulfill market and investor expectations fast and efficiently.
  • Accuracy in tax information: As companies delve into the world of cryptocurrencies, legal compliance remains necessary and understanding taxation becomes essential. Cryptocurrency tax reporting software like TurboTax have been developed to help simplify tax processes for stakeholders, while allowing tax authorities to surveil transactions and collect sooner.

3. Building blockchain-based applications

When developing blockchain-based applications, leveraging the blockchain and cloud offers several advantages. Firstly, combining blockchain and cloud computing provides a scalable and flexible infrastructure, allowing organizations to deploy and manage their blockchain applications easily.

This level of flexibility and scalability eliminates the need for maintaining an entire blockchain network, as the cloud service provider takes care of the underlying infrastructure. This reduces the complexity and resource requirements for organizations, enabling them to focus on application development rather than infrastructure management.

Secondly, the combination of blockchain and cloud offers enhanced security features. By leveraging cryptographic algorithms and decentralized consensus mechanisms, blockchain technology ensures the integrity and confidentiality of transactions. The cloud infrastructure adds an additional layer of security through robust access controls, data encryption, and automated backups.

This combination of blockchain and cloud technologies provides a secure environment for developing and running blockchain-based applications.

4. Supply chain management

One notable example of a company utilizing blockchain-based applications on the cloud is IBM, with its platform called IBM Food Trust.

IBM food trust

IBM uses a blockchain-based solution built on the IBM Cloud that enhances transparency and traceability in the food supply chain. It enables participants, such as farmers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers, to track the journey of food products from farm to table.

By utilizing the blockchain and cloud, IBM Food Trust ensures the immutability and security of the recorded data, allowing for more efficient and accurate tracking of food products, reducing food waste, and enhancing consumer trust.

5. Decentralized applications (DApps)

Cloud computing can provide the infrastructure and scalability required for hosting decentralized applications built on blockchain platforms. Blockchain ensures the transparency and security of the application's transactions and data, while cloud computing enables the efficient deployment and scaling of the application.

6. Internet of Things (IoT)

Cloud computing can handle IoT devices' data storage and processing requirements, while blockchain can provide a secure and decentralized framework for recording and validating IoT device transactions and interactions. This combination can enhance IoT ecosystems' security, privacy, and trustworthiness.

These are just a few examples of different use cases and applications of how blockchain and cloud computing can work well together. Both technologies can enhance security, scalability, transparency, and efficiency in various industries and applications.

Check how the blockchain infrastructure-as-a-service (BIaaS) platform Zeeve leveraged Cherry Servers' robust bare metal servers with hardware control to streamline their blockchain-related operations.

Advantages and disadvantages of blockchain and cloud integration

While blockchain-cloud technology is undoubtedly at the forefront of innovation, it’s still in its early stages and continuously evolving. By understanding the changing nature of blockchain-cloud, you can better navigate the potential challenges and opportunities associated with this cutting-edge technology.

Regulatory and compliance issues

The regulatory issues and challenges surrounding blockchain technology can be an obstacle in the provision of services from the cloud computing side. In regions where blockchain faces restrictions or prohibitions, cloud service providers may encounter trouble deploying and utilizing blockchain technology to its full potential.

These restrictions could limit the availability and accessibility of blockchain-based services, hindering the seamless integration of blockchain with cloud computing infrastructure.

(De)centralization

There is also the question of decentralization and whether deploying Ethereum nodes on a public cloud, such as AWS, can still be decentralized. One of the main attractions of blockchain was decentralization, not having large cloud providers control data or hold the ability to shut down the blockchain.

Most large websites, like Netflix and Amazon, are hosted on the cloud. More than 90% are on big cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, IBM, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, as most companies nowadays don't keep on-premise servers as they are expensive to manage.

However, that includes blockchain nodes. As of August 2022, three major centralized cloud providers [accounted for 69% of hosted nodes] (https://cointelegraph.com/news/3-cloud-providers-accounting-for-over-two-thirds-of-ethereum-nodes-data) on the Ethereum Mainnet, with roughly 50% of that on Amazon Web Services (AWS). It has sparked an argument about hosting decentralized blockchain on centralized platforms.

Data privacy and security concerns

Blockchain technology is well-known for its superior security. However, you should be aware of a flaw in its protection. The validation procedure in a blockchain is carried out by miners with a large amount of processing power.

While cloud computing enhances security, it doesn't guarantee the elimination of 100% of the risks, such as transaction obstructions, payment halts, reversals, double spending, and cryptocurrency fraud. Being vigilant, introducing robust security measures, and continuous monitoring are all still required to prevent these risks from arising in blockchain systems hosted on the cloud.

Interoperability with existing systems

Many businesses have an inclination towards designing their systems with specific characteristics. These multiple blockchains do not communicate with one another. In fact, there is currently no global standard that permits different networks to communicate with one another.

Blockchain interoperability allows information exchange across multiple blockchain networks without intermediaries. However, the existing integration challenges and the inherent complexity of blockchain can make it even more challenging. Integrating blockchain with cloud systems adds further complexity, requiring careful consideration and compatible protocols.

Transition to the blockchain in cloud computing

The skills required for a smooth transition to the blockchain in cloud computing may not be readily available yet. Blockchain is still an emerging technology, and the skills required to develop and deploy it are in short supply.

However, businesses can adopt blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS), which takes care of setting up the blockchain infrastructure like security, development tools, integration with cloud services, and management of servers. It allows users to focus on developing their blockchain applications rather than the infrastructure without investing considerably in technical talent.

Blockchain networks also require widespread adoption in order to work properly. Even though we see more adoption in the future, it can still be an issue as things currently stand.

Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) market size and trends

Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) is bringing major changes in all industries. The global Blockchain-as-a-Service market will grow at a CAGR of 62.2% by 2026, and the rising demand for blockchain is the driving force behind the development, according to data by Market & Markets,

Blockchain provides a secure environment for organizations to store data in a single location, make seamless transactions and interact with others in different places. Here are some ways BaaS can lead to innovation in different sectors.

Finance

The combination of blockchain and cloud has great potential to bring innovation to the finance industry. BaaS offers unmatched efficiency for the financial industry in tracking financial assets. It provides a transparent ledger system that makes it simple to track financial inputs and outflows.

Entertainment

The entertainment industry is always experimenting with new technology and faces many challenges. The use of blockchain and cloud computing in the industry can help track the lifecycle of assets, preserve digital data, decrease intellectual property theft risks, and open the window for further innovations.

Games

The primary purpose of integrating blockchain in the gaming industry is to transfer control from gaming owners, admins, and companies to the players. BaaS is already used in the gaming industry to validate, authenticate, and secure many types of digital data, such as tokenized assets, game assets, and digital collectibles.

Wrapping up

Blockchain technology is still in its early stages but has enormous future potential. It is quickly being adopted in all industries for various applications. The combination of blockchain and cloud computing opens opportunities for carrying out seamless transactions with no third-party involvement and helps organizations save time and money and stay secure.

However, there are real roadblocks that must be considered. Some common problems, such as compliance and regulatory issues, integration, and transition challenges, get in the way of tapping the true potential of the blockchain and cloud combined. In embracing these technologies, it's equally crucial to consider how we manage our online presence; for example, taking proactive steps to remove your digital footprint effectively and ensure privacy and security in your digital interactions. But we can expect advancements in these technologies to overcome these challenges.

The future of blockchain and cloud computing is bright, with major industries tapping the technology for various applications and driving further innovation. It is the right time for blockchain customers to update their technology and adopt the combination of blockchain and cloud for their infrastructure needs.

Cherry Servers blockchain server plan is optimized to handle heavy workloads specifically for your Web3 infrastructure. At Cherry Servers, we offer open-source cloud-native services that give developers complete control—cost-effective, deployed within minutes, with hourly billing and free technical support.

Mantas is a hands-on growth marketer with expertise in Linux, Ansible, Python, Git, Docker, dbt, PostgreSQL, Power BI, analytics engineering, and technical writing. With more than seven years of experience in a fast-paced Cloud Computing market, Mantas is responsible for creating and implementing data-driven growth marketing strategies concerning PPC, SEO, email, and affiliate marketing initiatives in the company. In addition to business expertise, Mantas also has hands-on experience working with cloud-native and analytics engineering technologies. He is also an expert in authoring topics like Ubuntu, Ansible, Docker, GPU computing, and other DevOps-related technologies. Mantas received his B.Sc. in Psychology from Vilnius University and resides in Siauliai, Lithuania.

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