SIMBA Chain is Making Blockchain as Easy as Point and Click
One word that has burst into the modern lexicon with unprecedented speed is “blockchain.” This family of technologies which famously powers the well-known cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether has emerged as one of the most active areas of tech development in recent years.
While cryptocurrency gets all the attention, the underlying blockchain technology holds promise for anything that needs to be done in a secure or distributed way.
This is the area of focus of SIMBA Chain, a startup that “enables anyone to quickly create blockchain distributed applications for iOS, Android, and the web.” SIMBA Chain CEO Joel Neidig and CTO Ian Taylor spoke to us about the ways its blockchain-as-a-service solution can help developers build decentralized applications (dapps).
“SIMBA stands for Simple Blockchain Applications. It’s a kind of a zero-knowledge platform that you can deploy in literally minutes, where it might take people months to deploy a blockchain network on their own,” said Neidig. “As an analogy, think back to the early days of the internet when people were trying to setup servers or browse the internet in an easy way - it was very difficult. So, our platform brings everything together and you can deploy distributed apps very quickly without any coding skills.”
The company, which has its roots in a DARPA funded project that focused on a secure messaging solution for the Department of Defense, has been active since 2017 and has already landed deals with several government and enterprise customers. The company points to its use of the Azure Government cloud as a key component in its success so far.
“From a deployment perspective, we chose Microsoft to host our backend because our government customers require certain standards and levels of security. Azure has more certifications than any other cloud platform,” said Neidig. “By being in the Azure Government cloud, we fall within their government compliant infrastructure, so those customers are able to choose our solution without needing to go through a time-consuming vetting of our platform. It makes it very streamlined to get those government customers on board quicker.”
When you look at the wider tech landscape, what sets your solution apart?
Ian Taylor: “In the blockchain space, Microsoft has pretty sophisticated APIs, Microsoft has [Azure Blockchain Workbench], it talks to multiple different blockchains, it has integrations with some [data stores] and so forth. The focus is more on providing access to this underlying infrastructure, so the APIs are extensive but they are designed to be programmed upon, to create applications. So, it requires some development to get from the API to the resulting application.
SIMBA Chain CTO Ian Taylor
“Where we’ve got a niche, is we automate that development and deployment process. Using SIMBA you can basically use a UI to create and model your business application. You define the assets along with the parameters you need, click go, and it automatically writes you a smart contract for them which is essentially interfaced to the blockchain. It reduces the development time into the blockchain and it enables very fast prototyping and deployment as well.”
What has it been like collaborating with Microsoft and participating in the Microsoft for Startups program?
SIMBA Chain CEO Joel Neidig
Joel Neidig: “I like to think about what we’re doing as similar to what Microsoft did with Windows on the PC. We want to let people harness the power of the blockchain in a very user friendly, GUI type way that they understand and are familiar with - essentially like an OS for blockchain, enabling people to deploy solutions really fast. That’s why I think it’s a great partnership between us and Microsoft , because we both are very customer oriented and focused. Also we are excited about the co-marketing that we’ll be doing with the Microsoft for Startups program, where we can engage with customers that Microsoft currently has that we’ll be able to add value to. Additionally, we are working right now with some of the government groups at Microsoft on several opportunities.”