Arguably one of the most eagerly awaited talks during the Ethereum's Devcon1 conference in London was that of Marley Gray from Microsoft. Shortly before Devcon1 the community was surprised with the announcement that IT giant Microsoft had entered into a partnership with Ethereum-focused company Consensys and would sponsor Devcon1. What would this mean for Ethereum as a technology, the thriving community and the possibilities to build on it?
Aron van Ammers, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of BlockStars.io, a participant of Ethereum's DevCon1, gave Cointelegraph his exclusive insight into the news. We publish it as it is.
The offering on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, now publicly announced, allows for easily running Ethereum nodes with the BlockApps stack on any of the geographic areas of Azure. Victor Wong and Ryan Reich of BlockApps further explained how their application stack can be used to build Ethereum DApps. Also, Roman Mandeleil of Ether.Camp demonstrated their in-browser development environment for DApps which can deploy straight to Azure.
This means that Blockchain-as-a-Service or Baas, a term coined by William Mougayar earlier this year, is now a thing. Important to realize is that Ethereum nodes running on cloud providers like Azure can be used for connecting to both the public Ethereum blockchain or creating a private, permissioned blockchain. Also important to note is that it was already possible to run Ethereum nodes on any cloud provider. The Microsoft partnership allows to do this with far less effort and lowers the barrier for new developers to get started and for businesses to add nodes to the Ethereum network on a global scale.
When running blockchain nodes from any cloud provider - before and now – the cloud provider is introduced as a third party for those running their nodes in those clouds. Arguably this could turn into a centralizing factor in the Ethereum network if a majority of the nodes is deployed on a single cloud provider. I am looking forward to see how other cloud providers like Amazon follow up on lowering the barrier for deploying Ethereum infrastructure to establish a good amount of diversity.