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You might easily have missed it this week, when Kadena, a Brooklyn, New York startup, announced a free private Blockchain as a Service tool in the Azure Marketplace, but it could be more relevant to you than you think.

When most people think about blockchain, it’s related to tracking digital currency. While it’s true that’s where the technology has its roots, over time we’ve learned that the underlying distributed ledger used to track bitcoin and other digital currencies has additional use cases in business.

Blockchain in business has seen its share of hype in the last 18 months, but adoption has been slower than most industry watchers (myself included) might have originally thought. Regardless, there surely are use cases where blockchain could make sense, particularly in the supply chain.

As an example, last year IBM announced an interesting blockchain project with Walmart to track leafy green vegetables from farm to shelf. Previously, if there was a recall, Walmart would simply take all of the affected products off the shelves. With blockchain, it could provide a much easier way to trace the source of the products, allowing them to pinpoint the problem quickly and only remove the problematic products, saving substantial amounts of food in the process.

Getting ahead of the pack for free

Kadena is offering a chance to work with blockchain development tools gratis. They have offerings both on Azure, as announced this week, and AWS, which they announced earlier this year.

Developers can experiment with blockchain applications on up to four nodes at 2000 transactions per second, without paying anything. Once you begin to scale that app, Kadena would start charging you, but for now, you can experiment without having to worry about paying for the privilege, and you probably wouldn’t need to deal with payment for some time, if at all. 

As with all emerging technology, it is prudent for MSPs to at least familiarize yourselves with what’s ahead. Kadena recognizes that not everyone is comfortable enough with this concept yet to begin paying for it. By offering a tool that lets you get started for free, it’s attempting to prime the pump of interest and help you get familiar with the tools, without making a significant investment. That works in your favor.

While it’s true that most of your clients will probably not be using blockchain any time soon, they could at some point, once the technology becomes mainstream. Tools like this could help you be ready when they are.

Photo: phive / Shutterstock

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Ron Miller

Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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