Microsoft Beefs Up Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS)

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Microsoft has recently announced  the additions of STRATO, an Ethereum sandbox and AlphaPoint, a digital asset exchange provider and IOTA, an Internet-of-Things (IoT) micro-transactions startup. The growing stack is a boon for enterprise.

Director of technology strategy, Marley Gray, slated spring as the milestone marker for Azure shifting into a “certified Blockchain marketplace.”

STRATO

Azure’s Blockchain as a Service welcomes its first certified offering from Blockapps: STRATO. The STRATO offering is a single-node blockchain instance, which acts as a developer sandbox for testing Ethereum blockchain applications and offers the STRATO RESTful API for connecting applications to private, semi-private (consortium) and public Ethereum blockchains.

Combined with Bloc, the web application software development kit which supports all the core features of the Ethereum Solidity smart contract language, developers can have blockchain applications up and running in minutes. STRATO also offers adjustable consensus formation algorithms and transaction verification rules such as instant, round robin signature pool, proof of work, and proof of stake.

AlphaPoint and IOTA

In addition Azure Blockchain as a Service welcomes AlphaPoint and IOTA to the ecosystem.

AlphaPoint’s platform powers digital asset exchanges and provides institutions blockchain-enabled solutions to store, track, and trade digital assets. The company’s future offerings on the Azure Marketplace will allow users to test and build blockchain applications leveraging a .NET stack. AlphaPoint’s team has over 50 years of combined experience in FinTech architecting high-performance financial systems for some of the worlds largest financial institutions.

IOTA is the worlds first Directed Acyclic Graph/Tangle based distributed ledger. This represents a radical redesign of the conventional blockchain architecture. The main difference between a Tangle and a Blockchain is the lack of rigid blocks, instead the Tangle is like a constant stream of settlements. IOTA came up with this model to solve the scalability issues of the blockchains which become very apparent in the world of Internet of Things.

Another unique aspect of IOTA is the core’s absolute lightweight nature enabling it to run on even tiny micro-sensors. With IOTA you can setup a settlement/transactional network for IoT clusters effortlessly and securely in a decentralized fashion. Additionally IOTA has built-in data transfer layer which allows for easy coupling of data streams and compensation models. IOTA plans on delivering the following to the ecosystem:

  • Setting up a swarm of IOTA payment channels for IoT devices; one click deploy
  • Oracling for Smart Contracts
  • Setting up side-Tangle (similar to sidechain in regular blockchains)

DevTest Labs Preview

Azure DevTest Labs Preview Artifact Repository Artifact Repository is now available. To learn more and begin using it, visit the GitHub Repo.

There are very interesting days ahead in the distributed ledger ecosystem and we continue to see new partners, new open technologies and new customers excited about bringing their ideas and technology into Azure!

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Founder of Blockchain News and The Hackitarians Foundation, Richard Kastelein is an award winning publisher and editor, hackathon organiser and entrepreneur. He has written over 700 articles at Blockchain News, has a massive network in the Blockchain arena and is available as a speaker and consultant. (richard@the-blockchain.com) Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on technology at events in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Gdansk, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Oxford, Rio de Janeiro, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, and Zurich. A Creative Technologist & Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) his career began in the Native Press (Canadian Arctic) and he later spent a decade in the Caribbean media. Currently, he writes occasionally for Wired Insights, Guardian & Virgin and his articles have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German & French.