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How Are Blockchain Servers Different From the Rest?

Jul 31, 2018
by Josh Anderson

TORONTO, ONTARIO — Blockchain technology has a lot of moving parts, and for many, they are more opaque than transparent. This, despite the fact that blockchain data centers are becoming more and more critical to the Canadian data center conversation. CapRE’s Canadian Data Center Summit in Toronto featured a germane panel titled Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin: What are They and How Do They Impact Data Center Design, Construction & Development? Towards the end of the discussion, the panel asked for questions from the audience. Below we cover the panelists’ response to two questions from an eager audience member.

Q: The typical blockchain server just needs ventilation, no electrical back-up, mechanical cooling, etc. What distinguishes a Blockchain server from a conventional one?

data center summitMichel Chartier, President, Kelvin Emtech: Using blockchain for anything other than crypto-currency, my guess is that they might require a little bit of UPS and cooling and protections and things like that. And of course they want to keep their investment more in the long-term, because keep in mind that blockchain for let’s stay hospital services and other things like that, won’t generate money. It will only provide services to a community that will want to know exactly where their medical records are, who has seen it, and why, and so on. So they want to keep their equipment in the long-run.

But if we tie up data in the blockchain with the Edge computing, we won’t require redundancy as much as we do just keeping the servers up and running. But if for some reason something fails, the type of ledger is going to be spread out to other areas also. You’re always going to have access to your installation. So we won’t see the same type of resiliency of redundancy in electrical or mechanical installation, as we do now.

Roger Karam, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Investment Partners Inc.: There is no critical down-time, basically, in blockchain. If my servers drop, it doesn’t matter. Someone else is working on my behalf. I’m losing the opportunity of calculation, but it’s cheaper to lose this opportunity, rather than spend money on redundancy and cooling.

Q: How are these coins generated? It sounds like the equation gets more and more complex as the Blockchain gets bigger. Is there a way to make them less complex, so that we therefore need to generate less power?

Chartier: It’s all based on the amount of nodes you have. How many ledgers do you have spread out across the world. You have to go all of them to make sure that it’s the right person who is doing the transaction, and that it’s being sent to the right person, who is allowed to receive it. so the longer that the time goes and the amount of the ledger that is going to be adding up and adding up, the time will get longer and longer. The equation will become longer and longer.

And the reason why the cost is going to be reduced is because of the amount of Bitcoin is going to be reducing at the same time. So even though the end is [projected to be] 2046 or something like that, I think that 80% of the Bitcoins have already been mined. And it’s only been seven of eight years. and now you’re looking at 20-something more for the last 20%. Because the calculations are becoming more and more complicated.

For more on Blockchain from the Toronto perspective, check out previous CapRE Insider Reports:

Banner Photo (L): Michel Chartier, President, Kelvin Emtech

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