The evolution of various blockchain infrastructure services has been quite impressive. We now have countless companies, organizations, projects, and communities taking blockchain development to the next level, and Web3 is now closer than ever to mainstream adoption. Furthermore, a proper blockchain infrastructure service enables developers to access the core advantages of the crypto realm and effortlessly implement Web3. If you want to use blockchain infrastructure as a service to take your business or project into Web3, this article is for you!
In today’s article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need about current blockchain infrastructure services. Of course, we’ll start with the basics and explain what blockchain infrastructure entails. The latter will help you understand the concept of blockchain infrastructure as a service. Furthermore, we’ll also take a closer look at some leading blockchain infrastructure services. As such, you’ll be able to determine which solutions you should explore further. However, there is one solution that provides the market’s best Web3 APIs – Moralis! Since Moralis is the leading Web3 API provider, we’ll cover what Moralis’ blockchain infrastructure as a service solution has to offer. Suppose you’d like to see precisely how Moralis’ tools can help your development endeavors immediately. In that case, we recommend creating your free Moralis account and tackling the many tutorials in the Moralis documentation.
What is Blockchain Infrastructure?
Blockchain infrastructure comprises many different parts. For example, blockchains, dapps, smart contract platforms, node providers, API providers, and hardware components all contribute to the infrastructure. That said, let’s go back to the beginning and see what started it all.
Bitcoin, launched back in 2009, was the first blockchain. However, while this blockchain network has many advantages, it has limitations to what devs can do with it. Hence, a team of blockchain developers created Ethereum – the first fully programmable blockchain. Nowadays, we have several other reputable development blockchains (a.k.a. “infrastructure blockchains”), with new ones emerging regularly. These networks are the foundation layer of all blockchain applications. Without these networks, there’d be no dapps (decentralized applications). Furthermore, the blockchain infrastructure landscape includes physical devices, software, and all other layers of the current blockchain tech stack (see the image below).
However, in this article, we can devote our attention to the technologies, tools, and solutions that dapp developers need to focus on. After all, when creating a dapp, you definitely do not want to deal with blockchains directly.
Adding Clarity – Sectors, Industry Groups, and Industries
Aside from the above neat representation of the blockchain tech stack, CoinDesk’s “Digital Asset Classification Standard” (DACS) may serve as a great tool to understand blockchain infrastructure services better. This classification of digital assets introduces a certain level of clarity and unity to the relatively “turbulent” blockchain industry. With that said, make sure to take some time to analyze the following graphical representation of DACS properly:
As you can see above, DACS defines six primary sectors: computing, currency, DeFi, culture and entertainment, smart contract platforms, and digitalization. While there are various blockchain infrastructure services in each of these six sectors, “computing” and “smart contract platforms” take the leading roles when it comes to blockchain infrastructure as a service.
Blockchain Infrastructure as a Service – What is it and How Does it Work?
Blockchain infrastructure as a service is a managed blockchain development platform or tool allowing users to build on top of the existing blockchain networks. Furthermore, this means that blockchain infrastructure services cover a wide spectrum. On one end, they can focus on helping devs build layer-2 blockchains and tackle the bottom layers of the infrastructure. On the other hand, a blockchain infrastructure service can help devs build and deploy dapps and, therefore, reach users directly. In addition, blockchain infrastructure services also include all the backend tools, such as data storing, that make the creation of dapps possible.
A proper Web3 provider supplies infrastructure and blockchain development tools. As you may know, initial blockchain applications revolved solely around cryptocurrencies. Consequently, the “blockchain-as-a-service” (BaaS) term was reserved for the currency sector (as you can see in the DACS graph). So, it defines BaaS as protocols that are typically more centralized and utilize permissioned blockchains for narrowly defined purposes. Hence, we avoid using BaaS and “blockchain infrastructure as a service” interchangeably. After all, most leading blockchain infrastructure services have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies and are not blockchain protocols.
Nonetheless, it can be helpful to view blockchain infrastructure as a service as “software as a service” for Web3. Ultimately, a reliable blockchain infrastructure service helps businesses get applications up and running with minimal effort. The latter ensures higher agility and quicker blockchain adoption. After all, if businesses were to develop their own blockchain-related backend, they’d waste a ton of money and time. Sure, there are specific cases where this approach makes sense; however, in most cases, applications focus on specific use cases on the frontend by using the already established backend infrastructure.
Blockchain Infrastructure Services
By looking at some blockchain infrastructure services, you will better understand the concept of blockchain infrastructure as a service. As such, let’s look at the five industry groups (which are also self-standing new industries) of the computing sector. We’ll also cover other important technologies that already play important roles in shaping blockchain infrastructure.
The Computing Sector
As per the DACS document, the computing sector includes protocols that focus on decentralizing and removing intermediaries for services such as computing, cloud storage, databases, and networking. Moreover, DACS also categorizes the computing sector into five industry groups, all providing important blockchain infrastructure services:
- IoT – The IoT industry group focuses on developing the “internet of things” and Web3 by incorporating blockchain networks into the real world. Essentially, these types of protocols help with interoperability between IoT networks and blockchains.
- Oracle Protocols – Oracle protocols focus on gathering, organizing, and transmitting data. They do this by supporting both “on-chain to on-chain” and “off-chain to on-chain” data in real-time. More often than not, oracles utilize their network’s native tokens to cover transaction costs and governance rights.
- Private Computing – These protocols are all about establishing a free, decentralized market of cloud computing power, security as a service, surplus bandwidth, and other computational services.
- Shared Networks – These open networks of distributed cloud computing allow participants to offer energy and computation resources at varying costs to pseudonymous buyers.
- Shared Storage – Shared storage protocols are all about revolutionizing traditional centralized storage servers. They do this by distributing the storage responsibilities across an open-source network of miners/stakeholders with a system of economic incentives.
Other Important Blockchain Infrastructure Service Tech and Tools
In the next section, you’ll learn more about the best blockchain infrastructure service for building dapps. However, even that ultimate solution can only cover some ends. As such, you’ll want to explore the earlier listed protocols and the following tech and tools to find your ultimate Web3 tech stack eventually. Here’s a list of leading blockchain infrastructure service tech and tools:
- Node Providers – All communication with blockchains (decentralized digital ledgers) occur through nodes. But as a dapp developer, you want to avoid running a node, as it is a full-time job with many challenges. Instead, you can use node-running companies to cover those needs. When/if you decide to start deploying smart contracts, you’ll most likely want to use a reliable node provider or two (for redundancy).
- Web3 API Providers – This is arguably the most essential “blockchain infrastructure as a service” tool/tech. After all, Web3 APIs enable consistent coding in a stable environment. Furthermore, there are various Web3 API providers offering different APIs. In most instances, these providers connect to nodes and create their own blockchain backend infrastructure that you can exploit. As such, you can obtain all sorts of useful precompiled and precalculated on-chain data using short code snippets.
- Smart Contract Programming Languages – These enable devs to write smart contracts, and they vary among programmable chains.
- Smart Contract Developing Frameworks and IDEs – Frameworks and IDEs support smart contract coding, compiling, deploying, verifying, and testing.
- Web3 Wallets – Primarily used for managing, sending, receiving and storing cryptocurrencies. However, they also play a vital role in Web3 authentication, executing on-chain transactions, testing dapps, etc.
- Blockchain Explorers – These special kinds of dapps enable users and devs to explore on-chain data and even interact with smart contracts.
Leading Infrastructure Service Projects in Blockchain
The following is a list of the leading project for each of the tech solutions and tools presented above.
Computing Sector Representatives:
- Helium (IoT)
- Chainlink (oracle)
- Filecoin (shared storage)
- IPFS (decentralized storage solution but not blockchain-based)
- Pocket Network
Web3 API Providers:
- The Graph
Projects/Tools Focusing on Smart Contracts Development:
- Solidity (smart contract programming language for Ethereum and EVM-compatible chains)
- Truffle (development environment, testing framework, and asset pipeline for EVM-compatible chains)
- Hardhat (Ethereum development environment)
- Ganache (testing environment)
- OpenZeppelin (Solidity smart contract template provider)
- Metaplex (Solana smart contract template and tooling solution)
- Remix Online IDE (compile, deploy, and verify smart contrasts for EVM-compatible chains)
- MetaMask (Ethereum and EVM-compatible chains)
- Trust Wallet
- Coinbase Wallet
- Phantom (for Solana)
- Etherscan (Ethereum)
- BscScan (BNB Chain)
- PolygonScan (Polygon)
- SnowTrace (Avalanche)
Exploring the Best Blockchain Infrastructure as a Service Solution
By definition, a proper “blockchain infrastructure as a service” solution coordinates and maintains access to blockchain amenities. It also develops the code to build on top of decentralized networks and provides a platform, development tools, metrics and analytics, container services, and community support to make developers’ lives a lot easier. If there’s a project that does all that and more, it’s Moralis.
This ultimate Web3 API provider empowers legacy devs to bridge the development gap between Web2 and Web3. It achieves that with its impressive cross-platform interoperability. Hence, you can join the Web3 revolution using familiar programming languages, frameworks, and platforms. Furthermore, by being fully cross-chain interoperable, you can create multi-chain dapps or easily switch from one chain to another by tweaking a single line of code.
Additionally, Moralis’ enterprise-grade APIs contain high capabilities. They let you cover vast numbers of calls to access all NFT, DeFi, transaction, and token data fast. Moreover, thanks to Moralis’ Streams API, you can stream blockchain data into your backend via webhooks for all of the supported chains. Accordingly, this makes Moralis one of the most scalable Web3 infrastructure tools.
Thanks to its reliable enterprise-grade tools, many leading Web3 projects, including MetaMask, Delta, and Polygon, use Moralis’ Web3 for business solutions. Moreover, with Moralis, businesses can reduce their project’s time-to-market by 87% and save over $86 million in engineering costs. Another distinct advantage of using Moralis for your “Web3 for enterprise” needs is its 24/7 worldwide support and an industry-leading business training program. All in all, thanks to its ultimate NFT API, Auth API, Token API, and Streams API, Moralis is the ultimate tool to fetch on-chain data and create dapps the easy way.
Blockchain Infrastructure as a Service? – Summary
If you devoted some of your precious time to covering the above sections, you’ve learned all you need to know about blockchain infrastructure as a service. You now know that there are quite many aspects to the backbone of this disruptive new technology. You learned that some tools come in the form of on-chain protocols while others come in the form of off-chain projects. In fact, you even had a chance to explore which ones are the leading computing protocols and blockchain infrastructure service projects. Last but not least, you found out that you can join the Web3 revolution with your legacy dev skills thanks to Moralis – the best blockchain infrastructure as a service solution.
If you want to start creating dapps the easy way, you first need to create your free Moralis account. Next, you’ll want to complete some of the tutorials in the Moralis docs to get the hang of it. On the other hand, you may already have some extensive ideas you want to implement with minimal fuss. In that case, make sure to follow the above “scalable Web3 Infrastructure” link and reach out to our support.
Additionally, you might be interested in expanding your blockchain development horizons further. If so, make sure to visit the Moralis YouTube channel and the Moralis blog. These two outlets cover all sorts of crypto topics and can support your ongoing blockchain education. For instance, some of the latest articles teach you how AWS Lambda works, how to create an AWS Lambda function, all you need to know about the ultimate ERC20 token API, what Amazon GameSparks is, and much more. Of course, you may also take a more professional approach to your blockchain education by enrolling in Moralis Academy, where you can master DeFi in 2022.