Microsoft has teamed up with ConsenSys to create a cloud-based blockchain platform. Launched yesterday, the platform is intended to be used by financial institutions to experiment inexpensively and easily with blockchain technology.
There are a number of different blockchains available and companies from the financial industry have been investing in the technology to improve their businesses. ConsenSys focuses on building decentralized applications, developer and end-user tools for blockchain ecosystems, mainly on the Ethereum blockchain, which this new platform has been built on. It is available to banks and insurance companies that are currently using Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure platform.
The decision to create this platform came after Microsoft had recurring feedback on the difficulty of starting to use blockchain technology. Speaking to Reuters at Ethereum’s DevCon conference in London, Marley Gray, director of tech strategy for financial services at Microsoft said: “Working with our customers that wanted to start playing around with blockchain technology, the major pain point that we kept hearing from them was that it was just too hard to get started, and too expensive”, adding that the platform was a “fail fast, fail cheap” way for firms to experiment with without the problem of creating their own system. According to Gray, companies will be able to create their own smart contracts from scratch within 20 minutes.