BK: Deloitte Joins the Blockchain Party: Blockchain as a Service?
Deloitte Joins the Blockchain Party: Blockchain as a Service?
By: Brian Kelly | @BKBrianKelly | July 15th, 2015
The onslaught of large corporate interest in blockchain technology continues with the latest announcement by Deloitte that they are exploring ways to use blockchain technology to streamline and improve auditing. To my mind this is one of the most obvious use cases for blockchain tech – in fact, we have explored using a blockchain to streamline our money management auditing process. For those interested in a full interview with Deloitte Consulting principal Eric Piscini I suggest heading over to Coindesk for the full article.
The way a blockchain solution would work for any kind of auditing is to have a company post its transactions into a blockchain. The blockchain would act as a time-stamping machine and a secure repository for the transactions – auditors would simply look at the transactions in the blockchain and create their own set of books. If you are concerned about privacy there are two solutions:
1) Hashing – nope, not the kind that comes with eggs, but the kind that happens when transactions are scrambled by a cryptographic hash function. The output of this hash function can only be read by those with the private keys…presumably the company and the auditors.
2) Private Blockchain – A company could also choose to create its own private blockchain and maintain the network itself. In order for this to be transparent, the auditors would also need to be part of maintaining the network.
Blockchain As a Service?
This brings me to an interesting development – Blockchain As A Service, or BAAS (rhymes with GLASS). One of the more exciting growth areas centers on companies that are offering services that utilitize a blockchain without customers needing to understand and maintain the technology. The easiest way to think about this is Salesforce – they offer cloud based applications where the customer does not have to maintain its own server farm.
One example of a BAAS enterprise is a company that I recently met with called Factom. Factom has developed a technology that uses a blockchain as a time-stamping service. This service can be used from something as simple as a notary public to as complicated as a real estate transactions. In either case, the end user doesn’t need to know a thing about blockchain to reap the benefits.
In my view BAAS is the next evolution of this revolutionary technology – just like end users of Amazon do not need to know how to code HTML, end users of a blockchain do not need know cryptographic hashing function. It is this type of simple user interface that will drive the hyper-growth of this space.
PS – If you are wondering if Blockchain As A Service is a real thing…check out Deloitte’s Rubix…BAAS has arrived!!!