Microsoft Blockchain Update Nine New Partners, Two New Bloggers

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Marley Gray, Director, BizDev & Strategy – Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft has blogged that nine new partners have joined up in their Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform – Jambucks, Bitswift, Storj, Vcash, Shadow, Blocknet, Blitz, Gamecredits and Okcash – all of which can be tested out in Azure DevTest labs.

The Blockchain team as been beefed up with two new BaaS bloggers as well – Yorke Rhodes, global business strategist, focused on our partner blockchain ecosystem will be providing updates for new and existing partners (BaaS updates) into the program as well as industry business insights. As well as Jason Albert, assistant general counsel at Microsoft focused on distributed ledgers from a legal, regulatory and compliance standpoint will be blogging about activities regarding our work with the Digital Chamber of Commerce, legislation, regulations and compliance issues in this space.

And Gray also announced that they have joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

The Digital Chamber is a new trade association focused on the possibilities and potential of distributed ledgers.

Companies small and large are increasingly exploring the potential of distributed ledgers, aka blockchains. Distributed ledgers, as their name suggests, consist of multiple online registers in which transactions can be recorded. Each transaction is tied to the previous one and verified through use of cryptography. This series of transactions comprises the blockchain. Blockchains provide tamper proof ledgers that multiple parties can agree upon creating a system of verified transactions and ownership.

Distributed ledgers have multiple potential uses. The virtual currency Bitcoin is the most famous at present, with the ownership and supply of Bitcoins controlled and verified through distributed ledgers. But, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine real-time instantaneous direct transfers of money, smart contracts that can be entered into, verified, and performed online or decentralized patient record management. Distributed ledger technology can make all of these possible, as well as other forms of distributed applications.

At Microsoft, we’re focused on providing the best platform and home for distributed ledgers, bringing together the technological promise of blockchain with the power and capabilities of Azure, such as Azure KeyVault, multi-factor authentication, and more. We brought Blockchain as a Service to market with Ethereum in November of last year and since then have added over a forty partners. Most recently, the R3 consortium of over 40 major banks chose Microsoft Blockchain as a Service as their preferred platform to experiment and develop new blockchain-related offerings.

As we work with others in the industry to explore the promise of this technology, it is equally important to engage with regulators and policymakers as they think about distributed ledgers. Virtual currency is already the focus of regulatory interest at both the state and Federal level in the US as well as in other markets around the world. We welcome this, as it is vital that users be protected and virtual currencies not become a haven for criminal activity. But even as this particular application of distributed ledgers is regulated, it is important to recognize that other uses are still evolving or nascent, and need the freedom to develop and grow.

The Digital Chamber provides a vital and needed voice as regulatory frameworks develop. By bringing together companies at the forefront of the industry to share their experiences and plans, the Digital Chamber will help provide input into important public debates about the uses of distributed ledger technology and how to enable it to flourish while protecting the public. The Digital Chamber is also working on establishing training, education, and self-regulatory schemes to assist new entrants, helping to grow innovation across the industry. We look forward to working with the Digital Chamber and its members as use of distributed ledgers grows and evolves.

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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.