Microsoft Launches New Cloud-Based Blockchain Platform

Global computer powerhouse Microsoft ended 2014 making news by accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment in the United States for digital products purchased through their website. On Tuesday, Microsoft doubled-down on Bitcoin and its technology by launching a new cloud-based blockchain platform for large financial institutions to use for experimentation with the new technology.

Also read: The New Economy, Jobs, and Bitcoin

ms-logo-site-shareIn association with Brooklyn-based tech startup ConsensYs, this represents Microsoft’s second foray into the Bitcoin space and a major vote of confidence after last winter’s announcement. Multiple economic corporations have already signed off on joining this initiative, and it will be available to those who are already connected with Microsoft’s Azure platform, which is also cloud-based.

“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,” Microsoft’s director of tech strategy for financial services, Marley Gray, told Reuters at Ethereum’s “DevCon” conference in London.

ConsensYs is a production studio working out of Brooklyn, New York. They build decentralized applications and various developer and end-user tools for blockchain ecosystems, primarily, but not exclusively based on Ethereum.

The key benefit of this collaboration between Microsoft and ConsensYs is that financial firms won’t have to build blockchain models from scratch.

Users in finance or insurance can work with cloud-based tech and Microsoft’s templates to build “smart contracts” that meet contract terms in as little as 20 minutes. Privatized blockchains can also be made quickly and easily. Microsoft is already using Ethereum’s programmable blockchain to help with this launch

This announcement has been the first news out of Microsoft in regards to Bitcoin or its blockchain technology since they hosted a panel in New York last June, in association with MIT Media Lab. The focus of the 70-minute event was on harnessing the capabilities of blockchain technology for issues such as limiting the damage of identity theft, how to thwart fraud in voting systems, and how to use the ledger system to catalog real estate ownership.

2015 has been the “Year of the Blockchain” within the FinTech and financial industries, as the efficiencies and security offered by Bitcoin’s underlying technology have made quite an impression on the mainstream. Many of the world’s largest banks, from Santander, to UBS, to Barclays have already started internal experiments and development projects to test integration of blockchain technology into their operations in the future.

Is Microsoft just looking to capitalize on a void in the market, or are they serious about Bitcoin’s technology? Share above and comment below!


Image Source: Microsoft

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Evander Smart worked for many years as a Wall Street banker, and has learned how the economy is self-destructing from the inside. His travels, experience and research have led him to Bitcoin as the best way forward for the common man. He looks to spread the word on how Bitcoin can help anyone break the shackles of economic slavery being created by global establishment forces. Evander gets you thinking about what money really is, and how it will work for you going forward. The world of finance is getting ready for incredible changes, and he is getting ready for what's coming next. Are you? Subscribe to his "What is Bitcoin" YouTube Channel @ https://goo.gl/EgtKjd
  • mmortal03

    “On Tuesday, Microsoft doubled-down on Bitcoin and its technology by launching a new cloud-based blockchain platform for large financial institutions to use for experimentation with the new technology.”

    This uses Ethereum, not Bitcoin.

    • Black Dynamite

      I think the point is if them accepting Bitcoin last year on their website didn’t work out for Microsoft they wouldn’t have gotten this far, and gone to blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is always Bitcoin-based, but an Ethereum version. There is no Ethereum Blockchain without a Bitcoin Blockchain. Its a derivative. The tech is Bitcoin’s, either way.
      BD

      • mmortal03

        Semantics are important here, and I disagree with you. To speak of all blockchains as being Bitcoin-based is misleading, and not a useful label. If we start referring to all blockchains in this manner, people will get the impression that such technologies use the Bitcoin blockchain and the bitcoin token.

        No, Bitcoin is a protocol, has its own blockchain, and has its token of value, the bitcoin. Ethereum is a different protocol, has its own blockchain, and uses its own token of value, ether.

        Yes, the concept of a blockchain was first developed in the form of Bitcoin’s blockchain, so, all blockchains are in a certain sense spiritual successors to it, but Ethereum is not built on the Bitcoin blockchain, thus it is only blockchain-based, not Bitcoin-based.

        To provide you with an analogy, Simula was the first language designed to support object-oriented programming, but we don’t say that all object-oriented programming languages are Simula-based.

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