When we set out to create Blockdaemon, we wanted to offer the blockchain community simple background processes (hence the word daemon), while taking the concept of decentralization to the infrastructure layer. That layer often gets subdivided into software and hardware, and we intend to connect and address both across a cluster of data centers, ranging from AWS to our very own bare metal Blockdaemon rack. Why? It just bothers me that as a community we pretend to change the world and “fix water” by getting a token listed on some exchange, with no thought paid to the fact that running all this stuff on a centralized infrastructure betrays the very concept of decentralization.
Now, for enterprise use cases, there are great reasons for a hybrid approach (you won’t fix GDPR on a public blockchain), and the network challenges lie elsewhere (on-prem, in-front/behind fire-walls, multi-cloud networks tend to be complex to run — your network complexity is our opportunity!). But you at least want the ability to switch networks at the speed of a bit to its lowest cost data network at the time. Balance. It’s important.
Now, in order to toy with the concept of decentralization and to iterate our way towards a network client on top of all infrastructure, we decided to fix an age-old (in blockchain: 8 years) problem: you just cannot go to a simple website, hit a few buttons, throw a tiny fraction of a bitcoin or litecoin or ether at a node and have a deployed, configurable and monitored public node up and running. Mainly that is because most folks don’t know how to agree to a few applicable configuration sets. So we decided to give it a shot — et voila, now you can deploy bitcoin and ethereum nodes at your leisure for $14.99 per month, with all hosting included. This all runs on our own little infrastructure — a rack in a data center somewhere we are using for testnets and other fun experiments.
When I say pre-configurations, I should clarify that Bitcoin nodes are the gremlins of nodes; beautiful and easy to get along with under certain conditions, but try and turn on txindex and see what happens when you sync your node. Old age will happen. Because Bitcoin nodes need a — ear-muffs under-aged Bitcoin bros — fuckton of IOPS. So you want to disable some stuff. So a cool configuration is:
Simple. And if you add ZMQ because you want to stick your finger in the node and feel its temperature, you could do this:
Now that allows you to do some cool stuff, but you also have to figure out how to set up a nginx SSL proxy to secure socket endpoints. We don’t want you to do that. We will handle that for you. Examples on our site.
And because most of the folks reading this are blockchain geeks, you probably have more crypto than FIAT, hence the move towards accepting payments from all sorts of protocol tokens. The reason we can handle the rosk of crypto volatility is because our own bare metal rack costs so much less than anyone else, worst case you end up on our infrastructure which is much more secure and applicable for fast data sharing.
This is an important factor in permission based networks, because no one will price out a decentralized network for you from the ground up, because it will be way more expensive than you think. While corporations may present an initial cost analysis that show reasonably priced services, they don’t factor in the hidden related costs associated with decentralized growth. The cost behind VPNs, increasing CPU, and network tunnels to connect each node to every other node increase exponentially with every additional node; quickly pricing out the average enthusiastic innovation group hindered by the business case math required by sourcing departments to justify all this fancy data-shabang with no real world application of relevance to date.
Blockdaemon to the rescue!
We intend to make that math work for you. We give users the option to launch nodes on a pre-existing public blockchain, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, using the Blockdaemon infrastructure. Using shared nodes lowers the cost of maintaining a decentralized network, but if you prefer a private blockchain, we can do that as well. We will talk about the permission based networks and use cases for complex networks in our next post.
Next up is the ability to customize your node. Give it a name, location, and choose a hosting provider. Not the right chain? No problem. Our interchangeable chain allows Blockdaemon users to switch blockchains anytime they like. One day. It’s coming, promise.
So i guess it is time for you to join the party, sign up on our site and deploy a node for free for 30 days. Let’s get building, or even better: