May 5, 2016

Skyscape gets ahead of the Blockchain game

Proving that Skyscape Cloud Services is always ready to support the Government Digital Service (GDS) on new programmes or initiatives, we spotted (in Brave New Coin, provider of digital currency insights) that the cloud services provider has formed a partnership with Blockchain software-as-a-service provider, Credits.

Credits won’t be well-known to our readers (well, it wasn't to us either!). Based in the Isle of Man, with an office in London, it was only founded in November 2014 (by Nick Williamson and Eric Benz). Its parent company is Manx start-up Pythia. And it only began offering its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) tools “for building secure and scalable blockchains" at on April 6th this year, having launched the public beta version at Money 20/20 (see TechMarketView research: Innovation in banking – an overview). It has been supported by technology accelerator Level39. Credits states its offering is “designed for developers allowing them to launch a ‘Blockchain in 3-steps without the need to learn a new programming language”.

The partnership with Skyscape is aimed at delivering ‘Blockchain-as-a-service’ (BaaS) to public sector organisations, by combining Credits’ technology with Skyscape’s public sector-focused, security assured, cloud infrastructure. Skyscape’s CEO Simon Hansford states Skyscape is “continuously re-evaluationg and developing (its) service options, in order to ensure we’re meeting the demands of the 30K public sector organisations in Britain”. Skyscape is responding to the UK Government’s desire to try and take advantage of cutting-edge private sector fintech companies and academics.

This partnership follows a range of announcement highlighting that Government is exploring the possibilities of Blockchain. For example, the Cabinet Office hosted its first Blockchain Partnership event last week; in 2015, Government committed £10m to the Alan Turing Institute to investigate digital currencies and digital ledger technologies; and in January this year, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport, published a report recommending Government start using Blockchain technology immediately. Walport believes the technology can be used to enable Government to create trusted archives of digital public records with greater transparency and accountability. He has stated, “Applying distributed ledger technologies in the registration and payment processes for government grants and benefits could prevent financial losses through fraud and error and support the most vulnerable citizens through full financial inclusion.”

While Government has yet to commit to the use of distributed ledger technologies, you can’t fault Skyscape for ensuring it is always ahead of the game.