Chinese telecom giant Huawei (ranked #83 on the Fortune Globe 500 list in 2017) unveiled a "Blockchain-as-a-Service" platform called Blockchain Service that is powered by Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric framework at the 15th Huawei Global Analyst Summit held in in Shenzen, China on Tuesday, 17 April 2018.
According to Huawei, its Blockchain Service is "a high-performance, high-availability, and high-security blockchain technology platform" that helps customers create, deploy, and manage blockchain networks quickly and cost-effectively on Huawei's cloud. It is built on open source technlogies Hyperledger Fabric, Kubernetes, and Docker.
Huawei says that its platform is:
- easy to use (deployment time reduced to minutes rather than days);
- flexible and efficient (by providing features such as pluggable consensus algorithms);
- cost effective (e.g., one click setup saves 80% of cost of system development and depolyment and "pay as you go" reduces initial costs by more than 60%);
- secure and private.
It envisages this platform being used to build blockchain applications in many industries and scanrios such as supply chain finance, supply chain traceability, securies trading, food safety, crowdfunding, digital asset management, management of public records, and so on.
Huawei's "Blockchain as a Service" offering sounds very similar to IBM Blockchain, a product that was launched in March 2017 and that was also based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.0; it is worth remembering that IBM has contributed over 44,000 lines of code to the Hyperledger Project. However, the first major company to provide "blockchain as a Service" was Microsoft, which launched in November 1995 its "Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS)"; this ran on Microsoft Azure Cloud.
It is interesting to see Huawei joining other Chinese companies, such as Baidu, in venturing into the very hot blockchain space.