I am not sure if this is the right place for a high level technology choice question. If not, please direct me to the appropriate forum.
Context I am involved in a business that deals with payment processing, PCI compliant payment gateways, pre-paid cards, loyalty cards, point of sale, and other financial services aimed at small businesses.
Right now the architecture is a centralized Azure based set of APIs and clients.
I am in the process of researching Ethereum.
Ethereum technology questions So far my understanding is that Ethereum does not itself bring a unique set of business benefits with it, apart from perhaps its own coolness factor and following. Am I right to perceive Ethereum as in essence an alternative platform to Azure and the various protocols used to communicate between clients and servers?
So for example, our pre-paid card payments could be implemented using multi-sig designs with a custom 'currency' in an Ethereum Dapp, and similarly with loyalty cards. This would be an alternative architecture to running a centralized Azure hosted db+REST API+trust model.
Am I right to take the point of view that for our intents and purposes Ethereum is an alternative technology choice to some of Azure's IaaS and PaaS offerings, and that is all? The price/service comparison would be made on the basis of running costs and security risks?
Or am I missing the point to some extent? Does Ethereum bring more to the table in terms of extensibility or business use cases? For example, on Azure there is the Azure Marketplace for re-sale of multitenant apps.
In essence, what I am looking for is a reverse approach: what arguments would I be able to make to persuade the other stakeholders in the organization that moving to Ethereum for these financial services is a good idea for both the short and longer terms?