Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.
Two of the major cloud players in the world have entered the blockchain space. Both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud have recently announced partnerships to deliver distributed digital ledger technology to the cloud and to grant developers access to their suites of cloud tools.
Back in May, AWS teamed up with Kaleido, a new start-up born out of leading blockchain incubator ConsenSys. The company is aiming to give AWS customers an “easy button” to get into the same technology that underpins cryptocurrencies and d-apps, or decentralized applications.
“They can focus on their scenario and they don’t have to become PhDs is cryptography, we give them a simple platform to build their company on blockchain,” said Steve Cerveny, one of the founders of Kaleido, commenting on new opportunities for developers.
Talking about AWS, Cerveny said that the cloud giant have “been looking for partners to help get blockchain into their customers’ hands.” He added: “They’re putting it in the marketplace will accelerate what their customers are going to do with it.”
“This is a heavy duty, full stack way of getting the company into blockchain solutions,” said Joseph Lubin, founder of ethereum and ConsenSys. “Three years ago we were getting calls from companies trying to spell blockchain and trying to order one in a color because their boss told them they should get a blockchain. At this point there are tens of thousands of companies around the world that have real sophistication around this.”
Google Cloud has also recently embraced blockchain fully with two important partnerships.
Ahead of the Google Cloud Next ’18 conference, the company partnered with Digital Asset, to see the startup’s blockchain platform and developer tools made available on the Google Cloud Platform, and with Ethereum enterprise blockchain startup BlockApps, to have their rapid-deployment blockchain-as-a-service solution platform for enterprises, called STRATO, made available on the Google Cloud.
“We’re partnering with Google Cloud to provide developers with a full stack solution so they can unleash the potential for web-paced innovation in blockchain,” said Digital Asset CEO Blythe Masters. “This will reduce the technical barriers to DLT application development by delivering our advanced distributed ledger platform and modeling language to Google Cloud.”
Similarly, Google commented that “customers can now explore ways they might use DLT frameworks on [Google Cloud Platform] with launch partners including Digital Asset and BlockApps, and try open-source integrations for Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum later this year in our GCP Marketplace.”
Back in June, at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit, Mark Russinovich, CTO at Microsoft Build Azure, was adamant about blockchain as a key ingridient for the future of the cloud. He said that “2018 is the year we are starting to see a wide variety of applications of blockchain, moving the technology from a romanticized cure-all to a real tool,” as reported by GeekWire.
“Every single company we talk to is looking at how they can apply blockchain to various areas,” Russinovich said.
For example, Microsoft, through its Xbox division, is teaming up with EY to offer a blockchain service for game developers, publishers and others to simplify calculating royalties. Russinovich said the service, which began testing in February and is expected to roll out to key partners later this year, gives everyone immediate insight into royalty and contract information, down to the minute.
“This is a case where we want publishers to be able to see the royalties they are owed in real time, and blockchain gives them that ability,” Russinovich said. “Before, it was different processes, different systems. It would be 30, 60 days, before they could see what they are owed. Here they can see it in real time.”