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What is Microsoft’s Blockchain Service All About?

Last update on Oct. 13, 2016.

What is Microsoft’s Blockchain Service All About?

The introduction of Blockchain technology has revolutionized the global financial services industry. The technology, which underpins the pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin, offers a shared ledger to the users and can store their complete transaction history. Unlike Bitcoin, the blockchain technology not only supports cryptocurrency, but also various other kinds of transaction records. As a result, a number of enterprises have shown interest in the technology, and the parent company, ConsenSys, have partnered with Microsoft to ensure smooth delivery of services to its users through the public cloud server, Azure.

What is Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)?

Blockchain technology or Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is a set of services offered by Microsoft’s public cloud platform, Azure, that allows users to:

  • Test and mix and match technologies at a very low cost in a ready-made testing and production environment. This also facilitates innovation and helps users develop newer solutions.
  • Create private Ethereum environments using secure industry leading frameworks.
  • Present their Blockchain products on a well-known platform, such as Azure, as a service.

It is important to know that Blockchain (also known as Ethereum) and Bitcoin (a cryptocurrency) are closely related. Both platforms utilize a technology called Blockchain which serves the purpose of a back-end database. In addition to this, both technologies make use of cryptographic tokens and offer a peer-to-peer network to the users for discovery and communications. The cryptographic token used by Ethereum is called Ether (ETH), and the one used by the Bitcoin protocol is called Bitcoin (BTC).

How Microsoft’s dealing with the Increased Demand for BaaS?

Running right from the Times Square, Microsoft’s public cloud platform, Azure, offers Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), which is growing at a tremendous speed and is not able to cater to the growing demands of the companies trying to be a part of it. In fact, the Microsoft’s IT team is looking for ways to automate the process of accepting companies to reduce the pending requests.

The Azure-hosted Blockchain platform is serving as a sandbox where participating companies can test and enhance their products, as well as an open-source app store where users can do business with some of the biggest banks, including HSBC, Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo, and Barclays. The banks have invested in the Blockchain technology in an attempt to streamline their processes and make the transactions more cost-effective.

In addition to improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness, user-friendly service charges have also contributed to the popularity of the Blockchain technology. Instead of a subscription fee, the users are charged for the time they use the service. This not only prevents overcharging, but has also led to a larger number of companies willing to have their Blockchain products admitted to the public cloud platform. As a result, Microsoft has been struggling with the increased demands.

Currently, the IT giant employs three full-time people at its Time Square office where the BaaS project is being managed. Considering the increased interest of IT firms in the technology, it will not be surprising to see Microsoft hiring more experts to automate the program.

This article was written using content originally published by the New York Business Journal.


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