Cloud computing and blockchain technology are the two on-demand technologies that are booming in the modern market and are being used by enterprises worldwide. One common difference between the two is that the records of the ledger databases in blockchain technology are immutable, whereas data stored in the cloud is mutable.
Now, this might sound intricate. This article will guide you in-depth about the two and the difference between them. You will learn about both topics such as blockchain technology and cloud computing, and how they are changing technology.
The emergence and development of cloud technology and blockchain has moved the world of software development, storage, services, and online transactions.
Cloud computing provides various online services such as infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. This technology renders a well-oiled model for efficiently accessing various technological components and services for application development and integration.
Blockchain technology provides a structural ledger database for storing transactional records known as blocks, and links them with numerous databases known as the chain. These immutable records are then signed cryptographically using a distributed consensus or validation protocol.
This feature of blockchain brings in the popularity of robust transaction execution in multi-structural business environments. Before understanding the difference between blockchain and cloud computing, let us discuss each of these topics individually in detail.
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It is also known as Distributed Ledger Technology as it creates shared ledger databases. This technology also keeps a record of the history of the transacted digital assets that are unchangeable and transparent by decentralization and cryptographic hashing.
Here, multiple parties agree on transaction specifications while guaranteeing accuracy and preventing tampering of data/records without the support of any trusted centralized authority.
Blockchain has gained exponential popularity due to its promising and revolutionary technology. It reduces the risk of any technical transaction, casts out fraud, and delivers transparency in a scalable way for multiple uses. There are three essential concepts in blockchain: blocks, nodes, and miners. Blocks have three essential elements:
- ·All the data resides within the block.
- The system randomly generates a 32-bit whole number known as nonce as and when the block generates. A block header hash is then generated. Hash is a 256-bit cipher merged with the nonce.
It is the delivery of computing services that includes software, storage, servers, database, networking, analytics, intelligence, etc. over the internet. All of these computing services provide flexible utilization of resources, rapid innovation, and economies of scale. Hence, enterprises and organizations are moving from traditional computing architecture to cloud-based architecture.
Here, users pay for the cloud services that they are using. We can run more infrastructure through this approach without even bothering about management, maintenance, and security.
Let us now dig deeper into blockchain vs cloud computing.
Blockchain vs. Cloud Computing
Since we are familiar with both the terms and their features, let us now see the significant differences between them:
1. A cloud is something that we can gain access to through the internet. It is cyberspace where we can access the data online. On the other hand, blockchain is an encrypted system that uses different styles of encryption and hash to store data in protected databases. The system distributes these data records over various nodes and forms a consensus on the position of the data they contain.
Data in the form of records are immutable in blockchain, whereas data residing in the cloud are mutable. Blockchain does not provide any service as it is a magnificent technological advancement that is a decentralized, distributed ledger that keeps a record of the provenance of a digital asset.
On the other hand, Cloud is a computing service that provides services in three principal formats such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Blockchain guarantees the prevention of the tempering of data without relying on any third-party trusted centralized authority, whereas the cloud does not assure complete integrity and tamper-free data.
Cloud computing can push the execution of blockchain technology-based projects. But it has a centralized (as all the data remains stored in a company’s centralized set of data centers) structure of data fetching. On the other hand, blockchain has a core principle of decentralization, which means it does not store any of its information in one space.
Data and its existence in a cloud can be either public or private, which means it can be either visible or kept hidden from other users. In blockchain technology, transparency of data is one of the core characteristics of it.
2. Cloud computing mostly runs on a traditional database structure where the stored data resides in the machines involving participants. On the other hand, blockchain is an incorruptible and reliable online database registry of various digital transactions where participants can alter the data by taking the approval of each party involved.
3. Companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alibaba Cloud, Google, IBM, and Microsoft provide cloud computing services while projects like Ethereum, Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric, and Quorum use blockchain technology.
Both blockchain and cloud computing are playing a vital role in changing enterprises’ work environments and the way traditional computing works.
Their emergence has not only gained momentum in the existing business infrastructure but has also changed the way the world of application development, storage, online transaction, and other services functions. Although cloud is a well-oiled model that can accelerate blockchain projects, their merger and blockchain cloud services are still in infancy.
This blog has hopefully helped you understand how blockchain works. To know more about the technology and take on a career path as a blockchain developer, you can enroll for upGrad’s Advanced certificate program in blockchain technology. It provides one-on-one mentorship and 200+ hours of learning content with zero-percent EMI options.
What are some of the popular companies that use blockchain technology?
Blockchain technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. It is not restricted just to the finance sector but has spread over various sectors like healthcare, insurance, energy, technology among many others. Popular companies like Microsoft, Walmart, FedX, HSBC, Unilever, Ford, etc., have started using blockchain technology in different areas of their business. Microsoft has been a proponent and believer of blockchain technology since the very beginning. They started taking Bitcoins as payments as early as 2014 and are also using Blockchain technology in their cloud computing service, Microsoft Azure. IBM has partnered with Walmart and 9 other food companies to track food globally through its supply chain by creating a blockchain.
How does Blockchain handle transparency?
Blockchain is one of the efficient remedies for the transparency of information issues faced in different sectors such as cybersecurity, agriculture, corporate, etc. A blockchain is a ledger that allows every transaction to be viewed by everyone present on the blockchain network. The information is stored in such a way that every alteration made gets recorded and hence ensures total transparency among the members of the blockchain network. The transparency ensures accountability and removes any scope of falsehood and doubts which makes decision-making easier. For instance, customers opting for cyber security can verify the claims made by security vendors through records stored on the blockchain network and take decisions accordingly.
What is the difference between Blockchain and Cryptocurrency?
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies are often used interchangeably although they have considerable differences. Blockchain is a collection of records that holds a large amount of information in blocks. The use of blockchain technology is becoming increasingly common in many industries such as health, technology, etc. On the other hand, cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange that uses blockchain as a ledger for recording crypto transactions and verifying the transfer of funds. In simple words, blockchain is the technology that facilitates the existence of cryptocurrencies.