Community Blog Blockchain as a Service on Alibaba Cloud

Blockchain as a Service on Alibaba Cloud

This article is to explain the definition of blockchain, and Blockchain as a Service on Alibaba Cloud.

Most of us have come across all the buzz surrounding Bitcoin! Some of the predictions claim that fiat currencies and gold may be replaced altogether in order to store value or pay for transactions and that the value of the bitcoin may reach astronomical heights due to its limited supply! In this article, we will aim to demystify Blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin, so you can make your own opinions on how revolutionary this technology may be!

Introduction of Blockchain

So we may wonder, what is so special about Blockchain? One of the simple ways to understand Blockchain is to visualize it as a database that is shared publicly among many of its participants (albeit Blockchain technology can also be deployed privately so access is restricted). Each of these participants is connected to this network via their computers and all of them maintain an identical copy of this database. Hence one of the core fundamental principles of Blockchain is that information is transparent and available to all the participants in the network at the same time.

Bitcoin is arguably one of the most famous public Blockchain. It essentially uses Blockchain technology to provide its users a digital currency that can be used to pay for products and services, just like a regular currency, or act as a store of value. Anyone can join the Bitcoin network as it is available to the public.

Blockchain Technology Video

Key Features of Blockchain

If Blockchain is just a database, then what is so special about it?! There are hundreds of different database technologies available to us. In order to answer this question, let us explore some of the special features which are unique to Blockchain technology:

  • Information Security
  • Distributed and Decentralization
  • Tamper proof
  • Consensus Driven

Key Use Cases of Blockchain

Blockchain can be thought of as a digital log of transactions that can be used in a variety of use cases where the value of digital has not yet been realized completely. There are hundreds of granular use cases that are currently in development across the world. Below, we will try to point out some of the key use cases.

  • Real-Time Traceability
  • Digital Record Keeping / Digital Identities
  • Smart Contracts

The application of Blockchain technology is really game-changing and can solve real problems in the world. However, for organizations looking to build products and services using Blockchain technology remains daunting, due to the lack of resources to build them from the group up and hire the right talent.

What is Blockchain as a Service?

Alibaba Cloud BaaS (Blockchain as a Service) is an enterprise-level PaaS (Platform as a Service) based on leading blockchain technologies and is powered by Ant Financial Blockchain Team. This service helps you build a stable, secure blockchain environment, and manage the deployment, operation, maintenance, and development of blockchains easily. Alibaba Cloud BaaS enables you to focus on business innovation.

Blockchain establishes a peer-to-peer network where each participant in the network has access to a shared ledger. Transactions and history records cannot be removed or altered. The smart contract and consensus algorithms enable transactions between multiple participants and confirm the transactions and ledger records.

Why blockchain on Alibaba Cloud?

Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service is built on Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes clusters. It leverages the capabilities of Alibaba Cloud in databases, security, maintenance, and computing. Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service provisions blockchain services based on multiple architectures, such as public cloud deployments and private cloud deployments.

Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service supports mainstream open-source blockchain technologies Hyperledger Fabric and Enterprise Ethereum - Quorum, and also supports proprietary financial-grade blockchain technology Ant Blockchain, satisfying various requirements.

  • Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source enterprise-class blockchain technology hosted by Linux Foundation. Hyperledger Fabric has a modular architecture and allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play.
  • Ant Blockchain is a proprietary financial-grade blockchain technology developed by Ant Financial, providing high performance, global deployment, and strict privacy protection.
  • Enterprise Ethereum - Quorum is an enterprise-focus version of Ethereum, developed by J.P. Morgan, and is compliant with the specification of EEA (Enterprise Ethereum Alliance).

Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service helps users quickly create and deploy a production-level blockchain environment, and provides graphical interfaces for blockchain management and operation. Enterprises and businesses can be dynamically added to the blockchain network. This service simplifies development and reduces the development time with pre-configured networks and infrastructure.

  • The consortium blockchain network is built on the Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service. This network relies on the multi-tenant isolation of cloud computing, including the isolation of computing, storage, and network resources. Business participants are independent and can manage their own resources separately.
  • This service provides a cross-regional network for participants in different regions. For example, as shown in the following figure, operators and participants in a consortium blockchain network can be deployed in three different cities.

Alibaba Cloud provides a wide range of methods for you to integrate the blockchain service into your applications. You can create resources on-demand and scale up the deployment easily. Additionally, this service provides advanced protection for data security and privacy. You can select the services that best suit your business needs at the optimal costs.

Blockchain as a Service (Baas) Cloud Service Integration on Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service integrated Alibaba Cloud’s other products and services, as well as providing convenient functions for on-chain and off-chain collaboration, reduce the development cost of the integration of the blockchain with other cloud services, helping you quickly complete system construction. At the same time, Alibaba Cloud BaaS also provides you with a REST API to help you avoid the tedious blockchain SDK configuration process, you can directly call smart contracts, query blocks, query transactions, and subscribe events on the chain through the REST API

  • Function Compute
    When you want various events on the blockchain to automatically trigger off-chain business logic, you can upload the business logic code to the Function Compute. By integrating the Function Compute service, when the event you configure to listen occurs on the chain, Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service will automatically invoke and push events into the function that you configured in the console. For the configuration procedure, please refer to Integrate with Function Compute. For a detailed example, please refer to On-chain Event Triggering Off-chain Operation.
  • Message Queue RocketMQ
    By integrating the Message Queue RocketMQ service, we will reliably and automatically publish events on the blockchain to specific topics of the Message Queue RocketMQ according to the configuration. Other applications can subscribe to these event messages in MQ for further processing. For the configuration procedure, please refer to Integrate with Message Queue. For a detailed example, please refer to On-Chain Events Send to Message Queue.
  • Connect to External HTTP Service
    By integrating external HTTP service, you can let various events on the blockchain automatically trigger your own business applications or third-party services, and push the event content to the outside for further processing. For the configuration procedure, please refer to Integrate with External HTTP Service.
  • Content Moderation
    Due to the immutable nature of the blockchain, if there is illegal information on the data on the chain, it will be difficult to clear it separately. By integrating Alibaba Cloud Content Moderation service, you can prevent such problems and prevent illegal information from being uploaded to the chain. For the configuration procedure, please refer to Integrate with Content Moderation. For an example of usage, please refer to Invoke with Content Moderation.
  • Database
    Generally, blockchain data is in key-value format, which is inconvenient for data query and analysis. By integrating with the relational databases, Blockchain as a Service can reliably and automatically export blockchain data to the target database table according to your configuration. Other applications can process the data via SQL statement or analysis tools further. For configuration procedure, please refer to Integrate with Database. For an example of usage, please refer to Export Blockchain Data to Database.
  • OSS (Object Storage Service)
    Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service supports storing a large volume of data or files on OSS, which can be linked with on-chain data by using a trusted anchoring technique. This can guarantee the immutability of the data or files. A sample application based on Hyperledger Fabric Go SDK has been provided here for reference.
  • Video DNA
    Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service supports fusion with Video DNA service, which can extract the unique identifier from multimedia contents (e.g. image, video, audio) as DNA. And by recording such key information (including DNA) on the blockchain, we are able to build up platforms for copyright attestation, infringement tracing, copyright trading. You can refer to the homepage of The Blockchain copyright protection solution for more details.
  • CEN (Cloud Enterprise Network) and DNS Private Zone
    Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service supports a hybrid cloud-based consortium network by integrating with CEN and DNS Private Zone. CEN can provide secure interconnectivity between VPC and the local datacenter, where blockchain nodes of BaaS and applications are deployed. Besides, DNS Private Zone can provide private domain name resolution and management capabilities for blockchain services within the CEN network.
  • Link TEE (Trusted Execution Environment)
    For Enterprise Edition and Enterprise Security Edition, Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service supports running Hyperledger Fabric Client SDK (private key management and signature) in Link TEE, which can be leveraged for providing enhanced security for blockchain applications, especially on edge devices in IoT scenarios. You can refer to the homepage of BaaS-IoT Edge & Device Security Solution for more details.
  • DDoS Protection
    Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service has a built-in Anti-DDoS Basic Service by default. And BaaS can also support integrating with Anti-DDoS Pro Service and Anti-DDoS Premium Service for protecting critical core business.

Related Blog:

How the Blockchain Can Protect Your Fintech Data

Forget cryptocurrencies. The behind-the-scenes online ledger for crypto transactions - blockchain - is now quietly driving a financial revolution.

In fact, research reveals more than three-quarters of the financial services industry plan to adopt blockchain by 2020 with Fintechs leading the way for this technology.

That's why we're particularly excited about our Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) product, which gives businesses a platform to run your blockchain network in an easily managed, stable and secure environment.

Blockchain-as-a-Service (Baas), a Platform to Facilitate Business Development

The evolution of technology has seen massive developments in every iteration spanning across multiple fields and industries. In the past few years, we are seeing a shift from digital transformation to data intelligence; enterprises are adopting IoT and artificial intelligence solutions to extract the most value out of data. This phenomenon is often referred to as Industry 4.0, an industrial revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data.

Whether talking about 4G or 5G, or about infrastructure-as-a-service, or software-as-a-service, the rapid growth of technology has pushed businesses and enterprises to collaborate with top technology vendors to meet customer demands. For instance, financial services institutions are now working closely with top cloud vendors and have already started adopting FinTech such as Alibaba Cloud Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) to help fast-track their business journey.

Related Product:

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is an enterprise-level platform service based on leading blockchain technologies. This service helps you build a secure and stable blockchain environment, save the costs of operations and maintenance, and facilitate business development. BaaS supports Hyperledger Fabric, Ant Blockchain technologies, and Quorum.

The Alibaba Cloud blockchain service is the product with the largest number of primary patents. The actual landing scene has exceeded 60+, becoming one of the most commercialized products.

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