To the casual observer, cryptocurrency and cloud technology could seem like two sides of the same coin. They are both unusual, innovative, and new forms of digital technology; they both have various uses, and they are both sometimes associated, either fairly or unfairly, with worries about security. But what you might not know is that these two digital disciplines enjoy some close connections – and there have even been suggestions that cloud tech is starting to knock crypto off its dominant spot as a major technology provider. This article will look at this phenomenon in greater detail.
Cloud computing pioneers, including Charles Phillips, the CEO of Infor, have long since acknowledged that cloud computing can be used in many different ways and for many different purposes. Cryptocurrencies are no exception, and miners, traders, and e-wallet providers all have their ways of maximizing cloud technology’s potential and using it in their way. The organization Cloud Token, for example, has harnessed the power of the cloud to offer a so-called ‘social wealth’ token. It has adopted specific aspects of cloud tech to ensure that there is maximum efficiency for users. It has, for example, built what it calls a “plug-in organizational structure,” in which a cloud-based cross-blockchain extra function can be integrated.
It works in reverse too. Plenty of cloud organizations are considering using crypto solutions to further their aims: one firm, ConsenSys, recently announced that it would be working alongside one of the world’s leading cloud companies, Amazon Web Services. The firm will provide AWS customers with a chance to use decentralized applications in much the same way as blockchain, meaning that customers can take advantage of both of these developments rather than just one.
The Security Dimension
A pattern is emerging in the digital world, and it goes like this. The world of crypto experiences a security problem of one kind or another – a particular method of fraud spreads and becomes popular due to a specific weakness of security, for example, or a dedicated service attack or malware spreading occurs. A solution is then developed for the problem, and the crypto world goes back to normal until the next security scare arrives – or so it believes.
However, what is happening in many cases is that attackers are simply shifting their focus to other ways to defraud traders and owners of cryptocurrencies instead, and this often involves cloud exploitation. It is because of ‘cloud containers,’ which are mostly big data provision centers that are operated by corporate names such as Amazon. Inside these containers is easily accessible, easily exploited data, which is then used to fraudulently mine crypto on an industrial scale. Data is considered an essential commodity for those who want to get involved in mining crypto (or entering details about its sale to the ledger), as it is what powers the computer rigs that perform the task. Miners can also take cuts from the eventual sale of the crypto they mined, so data is, in that sense, even a raw material that they then use to generate profit. As a result, cloud services – which sell data space as their commodity – are vulnerable.
A spokesperson for one security firm, Skybox, put it this way: “Compared to other technology, containers can be more numerous and quickly replicated. The attack footprint could expand rapidly, and several victims may be extremely high.” It is perhaps the principal way that the crypto world and the cloud tech world are linked: their vulnerabilities are symbiotic rather than isolated. It is likely that in the coming years, the industry will see organizations on both ends begin to work together to prevent these problems from occurring.
A Positive View
Ultimately, though, it makes sense that cloud technology and crypto technology will work together in this way. They are simply two different nodes on the same trajectory because they both involve redistributing computing power. Cloud technology grew out of the need to move away from dense, individualized, physical servers in every building. Crypto technology is growing out of a similar need to permit secure individual access to desired services rather than relying on centralized, bulky providers. In this way, the relationship between cloud technology and crypto technology can be appropriately understood as one of progression, rather than one of two separate worlds colliding in particular ways.
Crypto and cloud tech are two of the primary forms of modern digital tech, and as a result, it’s no surprise that there is some crossover between how they operate. There are plenty of ways that crypto providers can find benefits from cloud tech, while there are also some obvious security concerns when it comes to data containers and others. But on the whole, these two digital disciplines can work together to provide mutually beneficial solutions that enhance each other rather than hold each other back.