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.”


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!

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including where hs is interim CMO,, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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