Lerer Hippeau, Node-Marketplace, BYOI & Algorand

Konstantin Richter
Editorial,Technology

It has been an exciting few months at Blockdaemon. While the crypto-winter raged, we found ourselves in the peculiar position of seeing more demand for our product than could be handled — foundations, projects and enterprises reached out to see if we can help them to run nodes or orchestrate/support networks on our ground-breaking middleware platform. Strong funding cycles 2 years ago and the general poor market conditions are putting pressure on projects to release product in adherence to use-cases, which in turn means projects need to actively think about running nodes and continuous deployments that auto-scale and are monitored to professional standards.

API abstracting nodes works for POCs and non commercial projects, but once you go into the real-world with liabilities and warranties, you need to control your node to ensure data-access, custody and privacy. On top of that, most enterprises are far away from allowing to host sensitive data in the cloud, not to mention data in connection with blockchains. We grew from 500 users to over 7000 over the last 6 months.

This means dev-ops groups need support dev-opting, and the fact is that we are the most proficient and experienced group of dev-ops engineers in the space (running nodes for 12 different blockchain protocols across 100+ data centers owned by a handful of different providers (including our very own)).

Now before you start screaming “but you also are a centralized provider using the cloud”, let me highlight 2 specific additions to our platform to ensure we do not become a single point of failure:

  1. We now allow for BYOI (bring your own infrastructure), supporting nodes hosted on-prem behind firewalls and
  2. Will be offering warranties and liabilities supported by Infosec Soc2 compliance.

We find that on the path to decentralized networks, a progressive strategy delivers the highest functional degree of network performance and security over time. Most important for builders with professional intend is flexibility — driven by the mishmash of protocols and projects, most folks want to be able to trial things in real deployments, and our tool is tailor-made for it.

That said — the market is still small in relative terms … we have more demand than can be handled, and expect the next big real inflection point for enterprise grade solutions with blockchain components. Why? Because there are enough ground-breaking projects and smart engineers working in the space, that if the innovation trajectory that we have seen on tech between 2017-now holds, enough tech will have gestated for at scale enterprise deployments

Introducing the Marketplace

We launched our Marketplace, which really is a fancy word for something we were living for a while — multiple types of blockchains, mainnets, testnets, clouds and configurations in one simple place. We also added a few blockchains we like and are working with that do not have our typical out of the box deployment, either because they are just starting (like Algorand where we offer testnet-nodes and full relay and participating nodes the second they go to Mainnet) or require specific sizing (like Cosmos Blockchain).

You can now easily get in touch and tell us if you would like a managed node. We are adding performance/sizing to the mix soon, so nodes can be autoscaled for multiple use-cases (an exchange has different needs in terms of disk-size than a simple Dapp), in the interim, if what we offer off the shelf doesn’t work for you, drop us a note in our chat or email, and we will set you up directly.

Launching Algorand Test-net and Mainnet managed services

We have been working with the Algorand team for a few months and are running a few initiatives and product releases to ensure that they have a smooth mainnet launch. You can now sign up via our Marketplace to experience the Algorand testnet and rest assured that your relay/participation nodes will be ready for launch. We are also hosting an event with Coinshares & Algorand in NY on April 16th to demonstrate our platform and respond to specific questions.

Funding Update

Scale needs $s in an early stage market, and we are proud to announce that a new funding round led by Lerer Hippeau Venture has been closed. This capital injection is aimed to support our current path and growth, with existing lead investors Comcast Ventures and Boldstart participating also, as well as new investors Coinfund, Republic Venture and CRCM Fund. We always prioritized the right mix of investors to help us achieve the next milestones, and the next few months are all about ease-of-use and scale, something Lerer knows a lot about via their previous investments in the space: Casa Nodes and Abra. Coinfund, Republic and CRCM are all astute and knowledgeable investors in the blockchain space, that will help us drive up adoption within the blockchain community. We expect to grow well in terms of customers and solutions and to recapitalize early next year to prepare for the 2021 inflection point — when decentralized networks will have tens of thousands of participants, nodes will be the new APIs and real use cases will go live. The infrastructure for that flexible BYOI model is being built now.

Feel free to reach out and let us know if we can be helpful to you with planning out your node architecture.