Could Blockchain Technology Replace Cloud Computing



Feb 18, 2022


Within only a couple of years, blockchain technology has emerged as a revolutionary solution for global computing. Over the next few years, the tech is likely to transform the digital world in a myriad of other sectors: Cloud computing, robotics, AI, and numerous other rapidly evolving technologies.

​Easy transition from the cloud to blockchain
If you have experience with cloud computing, you’ll be able to make the transition to blockchain data storage without much fuss. Blockchains of course are distributed systems, accessible from anywhere - just like cloud systems are (accessible from anywhere). In contrast to cloud computing however, where data is stored in one company's data centres, data on-chain data is distributed across multiple “nodes” - creating a decentralised server. For your average user at home, the difference is minimal, without much notice when it comes to the experience. The challenge will be for developers to ensure data is adequately and efficiently accessed, without slowing load times - one of the bigger challenges of the technology.

​Cloud computing is being reinvented by blockchain
With blockchain-based computing, many optimists are predicting a new world being forged without “middlemen”. Whether this is an idealistic dream, or something to seriously consider, remains to be seen.


But the possibility that this approach will completely reorient the big data and cloud computing industries, it is impossible to imagine exactly when the era of massive data centres ebbs away, if at all. The reality is: consumers and companies will soon be able to store their data in highly secure distributed cloud networks empowered by blockchain technology - although this is going to take time. Blockchain virtual machines like the Ethereum network (EVM) are expensive when compared to a current cloud service such as those offered by Amazon Web Services or Digital Ocean, but as chains like ETH move to Proof of Stake, or Polkadot become more widely used, we will see the cost of hosting cloud-based applications on-chain come down dramatically.

The great cloud merging?
Cloud computing coupled with blockchain technology will likely merge to form the future of the internet as we know it. Server-based computing (The Cloud) is better suited for certain tasks, while the blockchain is better suited for others. Combining the two provides synergy for IT specialists and core teams that was never available a decade ago.


One example of such synergy is the functionality of NFTs. Of course, the most popular use-case of blockchain tech outside of cryptocurrency, NFTs are unique digital property - but where does the metadata get stored? At the moment, not directly on-chain. The transaction and signatory data gets store on-chain (like Ethereum, Solana, Polkadot, etc.) but the actual media metadata gets stored on encrypted server infrastructure - the most common being the IPFS standard - a node-based form of cloud computing.


So will blockchain replace cloud computing?


It’s hard to say. It’s almost like asking if road-based freight will get replaced by air-based freight. Both serve their own purpose, and when utilised and implemented together, they can bring costs down dramatically, increase security, and provide much more access to computing power for a global economy.


It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. But it’s certainly going somewhere fun!


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