Microsoft Announces Launch of Azure Blockchain Services

In the past year, Microsoft has demonstrated a focus on blockchain technology. It previously launched a blockchain developer kit along with its Azure Blockchain Workbench. Just last week, ahead of its Build developer conference, Microsoft announced the launch of Azure Blockchain Services, a “fully managed service that allows for the formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks” which are “meant to help businesses build applications on top of blockchain technology,” according to TechCrunch.

This new offering will save companies both time and money. “Many developers don’t yet know how to write code for blockchain,” said the general manager for industries and blockchain at Microsoft Azure, Matt Kerner. And The Wall Street Journal adds that “The cost to build a test blockchain application could fall to tens of thousands of dollars from hundreds of thousands.”

To kick things off, JPMorgan Chase is “tapping Microsoft Corp.’s cloud-based services to boost its blockchain platform (Quorum), aiming to make it easier, faster and cheaper for companies to build and deploy blockchain applications,” reports WSJ.

Through Quorum, companies will be able to launch blockchain applications quickly and without needing as much expertise as formerly required, according to JPMorgan head of blockchain initiatives Umar Farooq.

Through this partnership, and through the simplification of processes via Microsoft’s services, JPMorgan expects enhanced used of blockchain, largely due to the fact that it would otherwise require a higher degree of involvement from IT teams and/or blockchain experts, according to Farooq.

For Microsoft, launching with Quorum is equally beneficial. “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,” wrote Azure CTO Mark Russinovich in an announcement, reported by TechCrunch.