India’s banking blockchain consortium BankChain has chosen Microsoft as its exclusive cloud partner, a tie-up which will see India’s biggest banks using and sharing Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain.

Launched in February 2017, BankChain is India’s biggest financial blockchain consortium. The consortium was established by state-owned State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest bank, and sees 20 of the country’s biggest public- and private-sector banks. IBM and KPMG are technology and consulting partners respectively, for a consortium that sees its members working together to research, develop and ultimately implement blockchain applications in the country.

Now, the consortium has roped in Microsoft as its ‘exclusive cloud partner’ wherein its 20 member banks will use the Microsoft Azure Blockchain as their underlying blockchain platform.

Notably, Microsoft will also work with Primechain Technologies, the Indian blockchain startup powering the consortium, to develop uses cases of blockchain technology, according to an announcement by the tech giant. BankChain members and SBI’s Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC) will specifically test and validate blockchain pilots on Microsoft’s nodes via the Azure cloud.

Member bank DCB’s head of innovation Prasanna Lohar stated:

With Microsoft, we will see immense blockchain transformation to address enhancements like provision of interface, interoperability, security, ease of integration with other systems, etc.

As CCN reported earlier this month, the BankChain consortium began working on its first active project dubbed ‘Clear-Chain’, a permissioned blockchain that will enable member to share KYC, ALM and CFT (Know Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) details.

Such implementation of the innovative decentralized technology is only the beginning, according to Primechain CEO Shinam Arora, who sees blockchain technology to prove transformative in both commercial and back-end rollouts.

Blockchain technology can help banks improve customer satisfaction, minimize fraud, and maximize efficiency, security, and transparency. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft and bring their expertise and globally-trusted solutions to help the banks address these challenges take the next quantum leap.

Microsoft, along with IBM, has notably taken the lead in establishing itself as an enterprise blockchain solutions specialists via its Azure cloud platform. Launched in late 2015, Microsoft’s Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering provides a number of solutions from blockchain partners including EthCore, Chain and Ether,Camp, among others. to its Azure cloud customers. Notably, Microsoft also launched its Azure Blockchain services in India in December 2016.

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