After being one of the first big multinational companies stepping into bitcoin, Microsoft is now, it taking its first steps into the blockchain technology.
Marley Gray, the director of technology strategy for financial services at Microsoft’s at Times Square-based technology center revealed there was a growing demand for this kind of blockchain tools among the company’s customers and the company was attracted to Ethereum by its flexibility. While bitcoin was designed with the single purpose of being a currency, Ethereum presents a wider range of applications.
Microsoft signed a partnership with Consensys, a Brooklyn-based startup that is building products and services for Ethereum. The Software Industry giant is going to use this partnership to develop new products and new tools for its cloud-based service platform, Azure.
Andrew Keys, the director of communications at Consensys, revealed he sent an unsolicited email in September to Mr. Gray proposing the idea to Microsoft and fortunately Microsoft, seemed to be very interested.
Ethereum provides businesses with a platform on which products and services can be built. This was it can eliminate the need of third parties while also being able to simplify various business functions. On the Ethereum platform, anything can be digitized, and Microsoft is hoping to introduce new products that can simplify operations, from securities trading to cross-border payments to corporate accounting.
The interest in the Blockchain technology is growing rapidly on Wall Street and firms like Symbiont, ItBit, and Overstock.com have already built their own smart-contract platforms by receiving a lot of big investments.
Consensys will be building and maintaining the service while Microsoft will be providing the distribution platform. The startup will not be getting any revenue under the partnership, but plans to offer consulting and other high-end services to Azure clients.
Microsoft sees this partnership as a way to streamline operations and potentially cut billions in costs from back-office operations while enhancing the Azure clients’ ability to quickly build products or choose from existing templates to improve operations from accounting to logistics to cross-border payments.