With its partnership with software production studio ConsenSys, Microsoft has launched an enterprise solution in the form an ethereum-powered blockchain. The platform will be available to customers of Microsoft’s cloud-based platform – Azure.
Computing behemoth Microsoft has confirmed the launch of its previously announced cloud-based blockchain platform. With the reveal, Microsoft now notes the new technology will specifically help financial institutions with tools to experiment with blockchain technology on its Azure platform.
The Redmond giant also revealed that four global financial institutions have already signed up for the service, although Microsoft did not name them. The new platform is seen as an inexpensive experimenting model without the need for external investment of infrastructure to those looking to tap into blockchain’s technology for their own applications. Notably, the clientele are said to include banks and insurance companies.
Under the leadership of new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is making inroads into cloud-based technology and services, a move that saw a reported 8% increase in revenue in its cloud businesses in Q1 2015. Marley Gray, Microsoft’s director of tech strategy of financial services, explains:
We bet the entire farm on the cloud, pretty much.
Gray added that existing Microsoft templates will help clients experiment with the cloud-based blockchain platform without the need to have or build their own systems, a move that is likely to make blockchain adoption simpler and quicker.
He further added the technology will give companies the ability to create their own private blockchains that help with “smart contracts.” This enables users and new adopters with no previous experience with the technology to build contracts that are automatically executed within 20 minutes.
Gray explained the reason behind Microsoft’s early start in providing efficient and inexpensive blockchain based solutions to its customers.
Working with our customers that wanted to start playing around with blockchain technology, the major pain point that we kept hearing from them was that it was just too hard to get started, and too expensive.
There are multiple tools that will be offered to Microsoft’s clients and they include:
- BlockApps Strato – A sandbox toolkit to help developers experiment their applications before releasing it for adoption.
- Camp – A blockchain explorer tool that will help businesses develop their own block-chain applications.
Microsoft makes the announcement in partnership with ConsenSys, a collective of Ethereum-enthusiast coders founded by Joseph Lubin. Lubin also co-founded the Ethereum foundation, along with Vitalik Buterin.
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