Blockchain

Microsoft Launches Azure Blockchain Service

Microsoft has announced the launch of Azure Blockchain Service, which simplifies the formation, management and governance of consortium blockchain networks.

The news comes after the tech giant revealed Azure Blockchain Workbench last year, which gave developers a simple UI to model blockchain applications on a preconfigured Azure-supported network.

“Azure Blockchain Service deploys a fully-managed consortium network and offers built-in governance for common management tasks such as adding new members, setting permissions and authenticating user applications,” the company explained in a press release.

J.P. Morgan’s ethereum platform, Quorum, will be the first ledger available in Azure Blockchain Service, giving both companies’ customers the ability to deploy and manage scalable blockchain networks in the cloud.

“Because it’s built on the popular ethereum protocol, which has the world’s largest blockchain developer community, Quorum is a natural choice. It integrates with a rich set of open-source tools while also supporting confidential transactions, something our enterprise customers require. Quorum customers like Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, and our own Xbox Finance team can now use Azure Blockchain Service to quickly expand their networks with lower costs, shifting their focus from infrastructure management to application development and business logic,” said Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer at Microsoft Azure.

In the same release, Microsoft revealed it was rolling out several new Azure services and developer technologies spanning Artificial Intelligence (AI), mixed reality, IoT and blockchain in the hands of developers.

“It’s an incredible time to be a developer. From building AI and mixed reality into apps to leveraging blockchain for solving commercial business problems, developers’ skillsets and impact are growing rapidly,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud and AI Group. “Today we’re delivering innovative Azure services for developers to build the next generation of apps. With 95% of Fortune 500 customers running on Azure, these innovations can have far-reaching impact.”

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