The steady rise in blockchain adoption and marketplace variety has seen cloud computing services extend their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to the blockchain.
Blockchain technology has brought countless opportunities for all sorts of businesses across a wide variety of industries, but with it, a number of challenges. The entire Web 3 ecosystem requires very specialized equipment, knowledge and skills.
Using a blockchain infrastructure provider means SMEs and crypto-related startups can get access to expensive blockchain technology and expertise with limited investment. Plus, the on-demand nature of resource usage that Infrastructure as a Service enables also means improved cost-effectiveness of budgets.
You might be tempted to go it alone into the void of the blockchain...here’s why you shouldn’t.
According to Statista.com there are currently more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies across multiple blockchains. All of these blockchains have their own protocols, network of nodes, layers and token standards.
On top of the ecosystem is the traffic. Just the top three cryptocurrency networks have an average daily transaction count of about 1.5 million a day. This is a huge amount of data that is steadily increasing. This data can’t be compressed or minimized, meaning disk space has to be extended all the time.
As the blockchain is still very new, it is constantly evolving new features and integrations at a rate impossible for SMEs to keep up with.
Additionally, thanks to its open-source nature, everyone and anyone can make use of blockchain technology. While this is one of the blockchain’s main selling-points, it also invites a darker community of hackers trying to test or overload the networks. This requires a level of security that many small and medium sized businesses can’t afford to implement on their own.
About 10-15 years ago, companies were trying to develop email services by themselves, or sending SMSs to mobile operators themselves. This took a huge amount of time and effort, and took developer focus away from the product itself. The answer then, was to outsource these things to other specialist companies and gain from their technology and their expertise.
Companies are facing the same challenges now with the blockchain, and the answer is still the same— trust a third-party specialized company so that you can concentrate on your product.
Blockchain infrastructure providers give businesses the ability to access blockchain technology and data, to develop, launch and maintain their own blockchain applications without worrying about the backend operations or infrastructure.
The service provider is responsible for setting up, managing, and maintaining all the necessary tasks connected to the infrastructure and hardware components such as nodes.
Using their resources and expertise, the provider keeps the infrastructure agile, operational, secure, and up to date on behalf of the business customer.
What are the benefits of Using a Blockchain IaaS Provider?
By removing these tasks and complications from the workflow of SMEs, blockchain infrastructure providers can improve productivity for business customers’ own developers.
Gaining freedom and flexibility creates space for the development of new ideas and solutions, and allows in-house developers to focus on creating the best UI and UX for your product.
The IaaS model means there are no upfront costs or capital costs. It is a Pay-as-You-Go approach in which you pay for what you use and you can easily scale up or down as your business requirements change.
The readiness of available resources also has a huge impact on improving efficiency and contributes to faster development and go-to-market times.
As more and more businesses are turning to blockchain technology, there is no shortage of blockchain infrastructure providers. Of course, not all blockchain IaaS solutions offer the same quality or scope of services.
If you’re looking to invest in a blockchain infrastructure solution, here are the six key considerations to help you choose the right provider for your project.
Security is always a top concern when it comes to selecting an infrastructure provider. In using a provider, clients are handing over a certain degree of control of how data is managed and how resources are utilized.
Be up front about your data protection needs and do a little research into the provider’s security measures. For example, find out what security features they use and what actions they have taken to protect against cybersecurity risks.
Ideally, the blockchain provider should take a multi-layered approach to security and be ISO Certified. The ISO 27001:2013, as well as SOC 2, are the internationally recognized standards for information security management systems (ISMS) within the context of an organization.
A provider with this certification has undergone rigorous independent audits to evaluate their approach to security threats and vulnerabilities. It is clear proof that they are actively ensuring the appropriate controls are in place to mitigate any security risks.
When choosing a provider, you should consider how their services will be incorporated into your current workflows and systems. If the provider requires you to use multiple different databases, administration tools, or learn a whole new programming language then it could overly complicate things and be more hassle than it’s worth.
Ideally, you want a solution that offers a comprehensive SDK library and one single point of integration. This will enable your team to access all aspects of the provider’s blockchain product suite and make integration quick and painless.
Decentralized applications need constant access to multiple blockchains 24/7. Your user experience relies on having an uninterrupted network connection. A quality blockchain infrastructure provider should be able to promise guaranteed uptime and performance to ensure the lowest possibility of service disruptions.
A provider should make implementation and use as seamless as possible. Check out what resources and technical documents they have available. They should provide a full set of “how to” guides that will talk you through each product or service, and how to make the most of it.
Even if they have these resources, there may still be hiccups along the way.
How a provider deals with issues will hugely impact your experience and can also have a knock-on effect on your product. Choosing a provider with 24/7x365 support will give you peace of mind that should anything go wrong, they have your back.
Business needs change overtime, meaning your usage may fluctuate. You want to find a solution that can handle an increase in usage without negatively affecting response times or current user experience.
It’s also beneficial to find a provider that doesn’t lock you into a fixed fee contract. A service that allows the ability to scale services up or down gives greater flexibility, is much more cost-effective and lets you grow as needed.
Of course, pricing is important to consider but don’t be tempted to just choose the cheapest blockchain infrastructure provider. Consider quality vs value. Like many services, you get what you pay for. Also be aware of how you compare pricing...you can’t compare a Mercedes-Maybach with a VW Golf!
Consider if it is fit for purpose now, but also the future. The blockchain ecosystem is rapidly growing, and you want to be able to grow with it.
At Crypto APIs, we use top-tier security methods to ensure our systems and services are absolutely hack-proof. We even have the ISO certification to prove it. We apply encryption to REST, encryption to memory, and encryption in transit on all sensitive data.
When it comes to integration, we have tried to make it as easy as possible for businesses to access blockchain technology. That is why we provide 9 SDK libraries for the most popular programming languages.
Our entire product suite is accessible through one integration and is accessed via an easy to navigate dashboard.
Crypto APIs can guarantee customers 99.9% uptime and an average response time of 25ms, meaning no annoying interruptions to your services or your products.
Our products are services are made by developers for developers. We know what they need, and they can find it in our comprehensive Technical Documentation. You’ll get an overview of the services and products we provide and how to get started quickly.
Of course, if there is anything that is left unclear or there are any issues experienced, customers can get in touch with a member of the support team available 24/7 via live chat or the feedback form.
Crypto APIs is a cloud-based solution that uses Kubernetes for auto-scaling. This means we can serve up to 25,000 requests per second without any significant change in the response time.
Last, but not least, we have created a flexible pricing structure that is suitable for businesses of all sizes. You can integrate and test for free, and only pay when you are ready for production. We also provide the ability to upgrade or downgrade as needed, at any time.
If you’d like to learn more about Crypto APIs’ blockchain infrastructure provision, get in touch with the team who will be happy to answer any of your questions.