May
02
2019
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Microsoft launches a fully managed blockchain service

Microsoft didn’t rush to bring blockchain technology to its Azure cloud computing platform, but over the course of the last year, it started to pick up the pace with the launch of its blockchain development kit and the Azure Blockchain Workbench. Today, ahead of its Build developer conference, it is going a step further by launching Azure Blockchain Services, a fully managed service that allows for the formation, management and governance of consortium blockchain networks.

We’re not talking cryptocurrencies here, though. This is an enterprise service that is meant to help businesses build applications on top of blockchain technology. It is integrated with Azure Active Directory and offers tools for adding new members, setting permissions and monitoring network health and activity.

The first support ledger is J.P. Morgan’s Quorum. “Because it’s built on the popular Ethereum protocol, which has the world’s largest blockchain developer community, Quorum is a natural choice,” Azure CTO Mark Russinovich writes in today’s announcement. “It integrates with a rich set of open-source tools while also supporting confidential transactions—something our enterprise customers require.” To launch this integration, Microsoft partnered closely with J.P. Morgan.

The managed service is only one part of this package, though. Microsoft also today launched an extension to Visual Studio Code to help developers create smart contracts. The extension allows Visual Studio Code users to create and compiled Etherium smart contracts and deploy them other on the public chain or on a consortium network in Azure Blockchain Service. The code is then managed by Azure DevOps.

Building applications for these smart contracts is also going to get easier thanks to integrations with Logic Apps and Flow, Microsoft’s two workflow integration services, as well as Azure Functions for event-driven development.

Microsoft, of course, isn’t the first of the big companies to get into this game. IBM, especially, made a big push for blockchain adoption in recent years and AWS, too, is now getting into the game after mostly ignoring this technology before. Indeed, AWS opened up its own managed blockchain service only two days ago.

Sep
18
2017
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Ethereum will replace Visa in a ‘couple of years’ says founder

 The mind behind Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is matter-of-fact about the crypto. In short, he believes what interviewer Raval Navikant called “brain virus” is the true future of security and economics and, with the right incentives, Ethereum can replace things like credit card networks and even gaming servers. Buterin separates the world into two kinds of people. “There’s… Read More

Aug
30
2017
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Nuco’s Aion network provides a way to communicate between multiple blockchains

 As blockchains begin to gain in popularity, a need is developing to enable them to communicate with one another. That would require a networking infrastructure to facilitate that communication, and that’s precisely what Nuco, a Toronto-based startup is trying to do with the release of the Aion blockchain network today.
Nuco CEO Matthew Spoke says that while each network is ultimately… Read More

Aug
22
2017
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IBM, Kroger, Walmart and others team up to improve food safety with blockchains

 IBM today announced that it is working with a consortium that includes Dole, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart to bring the benefit of blockchains to the food supply chain.
IBM, just like most of its competitors in the public cloud computing space, has been working on various blockchain projects in the last few months.
Given the… Read More

Apr
29
2016
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IBM raises its blockchain game with secure cloud services and Docker integration

shutterstock ibm Bitcoin may still be the most famous application of blockchain technology, but the distributed, encrypted database architecture is now being applied to a range of other services, from different kinds of (non Bitcoin) financial transactions to anything else that requires secure tracking. And today, IBM laid out its claim for some of that new business: the IT giant announced a new set of… Read More

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