Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba group, has announced that its Blockchain as a Service (Baas) is now available in South East Asia, the US and Europe.
Alibaba Cloud BaaS only launched in China last August, and Alibaba says it has already successfully enabled development of blockchain applications in the public benefits system, logistics, and medical industries.
The expansion is a part of the cloud provider’s attempt to compete with other BaaS offerings from Oracle, Microsoft and IBM.
Like other offerings, Alibaba Cloud BaaS helps customers build secure and stable environments for blockchain implementations without having to take on the cost or risk in-house. Alibaba Cloud says its service is “enterprise grade”.
“Our customers in China have already experienced the benefits from our BaaS platform and we are excited to extend this service to other enterprise customers all over the world,” said Yi Li, head of Alibaba Cloud’s Blockchain Service.
“We aim to become a technology partner that enables companies that wish to use blockchain to accelerate their digital transformation,” he added.
Alibaba Cloud BaaS supports automatic deployment, consortium blockchain management, smart contracts, user and certificate management, and SDK applications, as well as monitoring, operating and maintenance.
It also supports both the Hyperledger Fabric and Ant Blockchain platforms. Hyperledger Fabric is one of many Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation. Ant Blockchain is an alternative implementation developed by Alibaba Group’s own Ant Financial Services.
In an effort to distinguish Ant Blockchain from other offerings Alibaba has rushed to patent its DLT implementation. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Alibaba filed 10% of the world’s blockchain patents in 2017.
ABI Research predicts that blockchain technologies are expected to generate more than $10.6 bn in revenue by 2023.
“2018 is set to be another blockbuster year for the industry with a record amount of capital to be injected into companies in the space, and Hyperledger is committed to the development of blockchain technologies in China,” said Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger.
Last month, IBM announced the membership of several leading global retailers to its blockchain-based food supply chain network IBM Food Trust.