Our industry and online communities debate whether cloud computing is technically or philosophically compatible with the cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. After all, decentralization is an article of faith across our industry. For many prominent voices, any delay in achieving that distant vision is interminably long and any perceived half-measures along the way are deemed unforgivable. Navigating the hurdles facing a fully decentralized future — and, more importantly, preparing our customers for it — is what drives us at Bloq.
Unfortunately, most approach decentralization as a strictly binary matter: on or off, one or zero, black or white. Doctrinaire approaches are rarely inclusive ones and, if the tokenized future is to grow, inclusion needs to be near the top of our priorities.
The thing is, in the service of inclusion, the tools that we need to build the bridge between today and tomorrow are right in front of us. They are widely available and not all that expensive. Enterprises are already familiar with these tools: cloud computing, managed services, and so on. Enterprise teams should be able to take the skills they already have and deploy them in the service of new blockchain applications, gaining valuable insight and learning along the way.
Further, blockchains are fundamentally an ever-growing dataset. This places real, pragmatic demands on computers in terms of increased data storage and network bandwidth costs – costs that begin to put some blockchains beyond the reach of the average computer. Keeping up with demanding blockchains such as Ethereum requires ever more compute, memory and data storage resources, which becomes a management challenge even for skilled IT shops that own their own hardware.
The situation for blockchain-native companies is similar to those faced by enterprises, but is characterized by different motivations. Such companies have their eyes on building multi-billion-dollar networks and attract their fair share of blockchain-grokking technical talent with the latest skills. This talent pool would rather exercise creativity than patience, however. To borrow from USV’s “Fat Protocols” thesis, they want to focus on building the thin-but-vital value-add on top, and spend less time managing the plumbing, the blockchain infrastructure underneath.
All of this serves to telegraph what Bloq plans to deliver in the next couple of months — cloud-delivered, on-demand blockchain infrastructure and the means to build upon it. That’s not an end state, but a beginning; these services will be a gateway to reduced friction and cost for enterprise and SMB firms, serving as a new entrypoint into the tokensphere. Decentralized cloud computing will bring new participants into the blockchain universe by reducing the barriers to entry withoutcompromising blockchain technology’s promise of security and full ownership.
We will be publishing more information on this and related topics in the meantime. To be among the first to hear about this, subscribe to Sync. To look under the hood, consider applying for our private beta.
Jeff Garzik is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bloq.