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Hello blockchain world, we are Chainstack

Announcing our launch

#buidl it, and they will come

Launching any Platform as a Service (PaaS) is tough. Launching a blockchain PaaS, even tougher. Industry insiders would agree — from identifying the right set of problems that deserve to be solved to continual prioritization can seem like a never-ending story of dilemmas and decisions. Add to that, in our case, the constantly evolving protagonist, the blockchain, and things only get more exciting. Enterprise blockchain is arguably the most contentious, misunderstood, and under-leveraged technology, and we are here to play a part in helping the world understand and benefit from its massive potential.

Which is why this is a momentous time for every one of us at Chainstack and every other person who has believed in our vision — of building the easiest to use, yet world’s most sophisticated PaaS that will contribute to blockchain’s adoption in the real world.

Founders Laurent Dedenis and Eugene Aseev at Chainstack’s first presentation to a packed audience. SGInnovate, Singapore. June 2018.

Only a few days ago, our first email to early adopters went out inviting them to sign up and try Chainstack. This singular moment has been around nine months in the making. During this period, we have been patiently building the plumbing that enables companies to deploy blockchains in minutes, a process that would normally take hours or even days. Some might even call this process an ordeal. But from today onwards, developers and enterprises have a significantly better choice.

Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium…

Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus on Helen of Troy

Remember the rise and dominance of Ruby on Rails, or, for that matter, Docker? Theirs was the face that launched a thousand ships in the worlds of web development and containerization respectively. The process of launching technology-based products has not been the same since then, with more power, more ease, and incredibly richer applications at a fraction of the cost now being the norm.

At Chainstack, we want to be the face that will help launch a thousand (and more) decentralized applications on the blockchain. Someday, and very soon we believe, launching decentralized applications with ease will be the norm. As that unfolds, you will find Chainstack right there in the thick of the action, reliably shouldering all the infrastructure complexity that goes with deploying blockchains.

Many blockchain developers liken the maturity of the blockchain tools and frameworks to those of the web during the early days of the Internet. […] There is extremely low-hanging fruit in making the field more accessible, and a lot of technical infrastructure needs to be built up to bring blockchain from 1994, in internet terms, to 2017.

Building for the Blockchain

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time

Breaking down a problem into small manageable parts and building solutions incrementally is the de facto way of problem-solving. It works exceedingly well in the case of independent isolated pieces of software, large or small. But in the case of blockchains, we have discovered that a reductionist approach combined with a systems approach works best.

The blockchain is where cryptography, distributed computing, and governance converge. At Chainstack, we are eating the elephant one bite at a time with eyes on the forest. Some of the finest minds world over have contributed to powerful enterprise protocols such as Hyperledger FabricMultiChainQuorumCorda, and others. We believe there is simply no ‘one ring to rule them all’. In fact, the complexity of modern business and myriad use cases calls for an approach that goes beyond ‘one size fits all’.

This is precisely the rationale for our universal approach. We want to offer a wide choice to the enterprise and developers not just in terms of blockchain protocols, but also in terms of hosting environments. In our first release, we have chosen to offer MultiChainQuorumEthereum with hosting on Google Cloud and AWS, and more are on their way. Support for FabricCorda, and other leading protocols with a choice of Mircosoft AzureDigital OceanAlibaba Cloud as well as hybrid and on-prem environments are on the roadmap. Stay tuned for updates on that front.

Chainstack is quite innovative in its vision about how the enterprise will use blockchain going forward. Being multi-cloud and multi-protocol will give the Fortune 500 and their partners the single panel they need to manage frequent and large blockchain deployments in heterogeneous environments.

Akihiko Katayama, Director, PwC

Our current tech stack employs the following key technologies and more.

Our tech stack

Beyond the dizzying array of microservices, APIs, and clusters, there’s something that’s unseen and that holds the workings of successful decentralized platforms: governance. Any effective blockchain platform should enable organizations that decide to come together to define and execute clearly as per governance policies. In that regard, we are not there yet, admittedly, but well on our way. While our code gurus have been grappling with and resolving hard technical choices, our hands-on leadership and solutions architect have been drafting sophisticated governance mechanisms that should help consortia and mega-consortia transact smoothly.

Even in its current form, Chainstack’s projects-based and intuitive collaboration workflow provides great value to enterprises keen on collaborating on blockchain projects. Try taking Chainstack for a spin, and you will know what we mean.

The function of good software is to make the complex appear to be simple.

Grady Booch

Let’s get back to the tech for a while.

Several developers have found the entire stack required to launch decentralized projects on a public chain to be notoriously confusing and time-consuming. Synchronizing nodes with the mainnet itself, among several other tasks, is a challenging one, and this quote from the latest DApp survey is telling.

Developers pointed out that sometimes using multiple technologies to connect to the blockchain was required to keep the DApp state and user interface up to date. Among the reasons to use multiple technologies was the fact that connectivity issues and node stability might present a problem and affect overall DApp quality — having a negative impact on the end user experience.

DApp survey results

At Chainstack, we are radically simplifying the entire process of blockchain deployment. Launching nodes effortlessly, whether it’s permissioned or public, in as short a time as possible should be a given. This is so that developers and enterprises can direct a major chunk of their limited resources to build DApps that address various use cases. Furthermore, with efficiencies on multiple fronts, enterprises can direct their efforts towards building blockchain-based consortiums that unlock value.

Our rapid deployment and sync take only a few minutes, and we are pushing the boundaries on that front. If you are curious to see how it all works, you can register for one of our upcoming webinars, or try it for yourself.

Humans! The secret sauce

Over a blistering pace spread across nine months, we have grown 400%. Today our team comprises 7 nationalities and speaks a multitude of languages combined. On a lighter note, for a company that prides itself on being multi-cloud and multi-protocol, being multi-lingual is a natural extension.

Tackling hard problems at work is just one part of the story that we are living in. Dragon boat racing, team running, wine and cheese now and then, that’s the smorgasbord that makes building a global PaaS company, especially in blockchains, exhilarating.

On that note, we are hiring across a variety of roles; and if you fancy yourself being part of a team that is boldly taking on the complexity of the blockchain world, drop us your CV via our AngelList page. In a fast-paced process, you will encounter an interview, a take-home challenge, and a chat with the CEO as the final step. And it doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you are open to relocating to this bustling, dynamic corner of the world called Singapore.

I think by then we will have stopped talking about blockchain technology, and it will be part of a tech stack that delivers a distributed, secure transaction record. I also think we will have sorted out smart contracts and they will be fairly ubiquitous, enabling efficiencies across many sectors. My hope is that we will have re-imagined economic and business models in a way that emphasizes stakeholder engagement rather than shareholder extraction, creating a more sustainable and balanced economic system for all.

Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, World Economic Forum (WEF)

We couldn’t have said it better. At Chainstack, we pride ourselves on working at the boring end of exciting technology. Call it plumbing, nuts-and-bolts, infrastructure, it all boils down to building a reliable, fault-tolerant layer, which enterprises and developers of the world can leverage to rapidly build decentralized applications. It is our thesis that these applications will not only enlarge markets, but also create new ones. This is because coming together on the blockchain is a whole new paradigm — it’s a collaboration rather than competition, it’s win-win rather than a zero-sum game. For more on our views on this topic, read All We Need Is Trust.

To that end, we will be pushing out support for more protocols, whether permissioned or public. We will push out support for more hosting environments. And we will push out sophisticated governance so that complex and mega-consortiums can confidently realize their decentralization goals.

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