Google Cloud on Thursday unveiled Blockchain Node Engine, a fully managed service for Web3 developers who want to build and manage products for blockchain-based platforms. Cryptocurrency giant Ethereum will be the first platform supported by the new service.
“Blockchain is changing the way the world stores and moves its information,” Google’s Amit Zavery and James Tromans wrote in a blog post, explaining the company’s interest in supporting Web3 developers.
Blockchain Node Engine will allow developers to provide fully managed Ethereum nodes with secure blockchain access.
The era of decentralization
To understand the service, it helps to review a few terms. First of all, Web3 simply refers to the next iteration of the World Wide Web – an iteration based on decentralized platforms. Blockchain, on the other hand, is a technology ushered in by bitcoin that could turn out to be the foundation of Web3.
Blockchains consist of permanently stored and encrypted transaction data. Instead of relying on a central entity to validate and store data, a blockchain is made up of nodes – a device, like a computer or server, that holds a complete copy of the blockchain’s transaction history. The nodes in a blockchain form a peer-to-peer network, with all nodes up-to-date and in sync. This allows all members of the blockchain to control the veracity of data, making it a decentralized network.
Decentralization is already a growing industry trend, according to IT expert Dion Hinchcliffe. “Much of the important data we need to run our businesses will increasingly be kept in more private and protected places, stored in blockchain and other types of distributed ledgers,” he wrote for ZDNet. . “Over time, a growing share of our applications will become more open-source projects and will operate using smart contracts that all stakeholders can view, verify, and accept seamlessly.”
However, Google notes that blockchain nodes are often difficult to deploy and require constant management – problems the Blockchain Node Engine service is designed to solve.
With Blockchain Node Engine, developers will be able to deploy a new node in a single operation, and they can specify the desired region and network. In comparison, manually deploying a node requires provisioning a compute instance, installing an Ethereum client, and waiting for the node to synchronize with the network. “Syncing a full node from the first block (i.e. ‘genesis’) can take several days,” Google’s blog post says.
To ensure availability, Google Cloud actively monitors nodes and restarts them if something goes wrong – DevOps teams don’t have to wait for outages. The service also offers security guarantees, placing nodes behind a VPC firewall and using Google services such as Cloud Armor to protect nodes against DDoS attacks.