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.

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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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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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